Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that mandates overtime pay for domestic workers in California -- with the exception of babysitters.
The new measure requires that employers pay domestic workers, which include housekeepers and cleaners, time and a half for any work that exceeds nine hours a day or 45 hours a week.
Brown vetoed a more sweeping measure last year that also required rest periods, meal breaks and appropriate sleeping quarters for live-in employees. At the time, he said that bill could heap financial burdens onto families who rely on those workers.
This narrower measure will go into effect in January 2014 and run until January 2017 unless legislators renew the bill.
State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), the bill’s author, called the overtime requirements “another step in the movement to get these workers” adequate protections.
“Domestic workers are primarily women of color, many of them immigrants, and their work has not been respected in the past,” he said Thursday in a statement. “Now they will be entitled to overtime like just about every other California working person.”
Labor groups and recent studies have concluded that employers often mistreat domestic workers.
Latina advocacy group Mujeres Unidas y Activas conducted a study in 2007 that reported that more than 90% of these workers in Northern California did not receive overtime pay. It said that 20% had faced verbal abuse from employers, and that 9% had been subjected to violence of some kind.