Governor Brown Signs California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights

September 26, 2013

CONTACT: Mercy Albaran, (510) 816-04868

California addresses a historic inequity—guarantees daily overtime pay for thousands of domestic workers

Sacramento– Today Governor Jerry Brown signed the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights (AB 241 Ammiano), approving daily overtime pay for all domestic workers. Domestic workers, employers, and community leaders have been fighting for a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights for seven years, and this year’s escalated efforts have turned the tide towards a historic victory.

“Guaranteeing daily overtime for all domestic workers is a momentous win for us,” said Marcela Escamilla, a domestic worker from San Francisco. “This is a big step for respecting and recognizing domestic work as real work, and the fight doesn’t stop here. The fire for this movement will now burn brighter for domestic workers across the country fighting for the same recognition.”

Although domestic work has been regulated in California since 1976, many workers remained excluded from basic labor protections like overtime. This gap is based on the outdated notion that they work as “a source of rewarding activity” or “merely for supplemental income.”

AB 241 recognizes that the domestic workers who care for California’s families should have the same basic labor protection that other workers enjoy: overtime pay for overtime worked.

Bill author Assemblyman Tom Ammiano stated, “I’m glad I could play a role in this historic milestone for domestic workers. We’ve pushed this bill for a few years and it’s time they get the overtime pay they work hard for. With this and the new minimum wage, California can now resume its place as a leader in worker rights.”

The California Domestic Workers Coalition will be honored at the UC Berkeley Labor Center's 50th anniversary celebration. Domestic workers will be available for interview at this event on Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 6pm at the UC Berkeley Art Museum, 2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley.