Gov. Brown signs bill making domestic workers eligible for overtime

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Thursday a bill that would make nannies, private healthcare aides and other domestic workers in California eligible for overtime pay.

Under the measure, known as the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, workers would qualify for overtime pay if they work more than nine hours a day or 45 hours a week.

“Domestic workers are primarily women of color, many of them immigrants, and their work has not been respected in the past,” said Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), who wrote the bill. “Now, they will be entitled to overtime, like just about every other California working person.

For the bill's signing, Brown was joined by Ammiano as well as members of the California Domestic Workers Coalition, the advocacy group that sponsored the bill.

"I still have tears thinking about the feeling of being in the room just a few moments ago," said Maria Distancia, a coalition member.

"We’re out of the shadows now. We’re becoming more visible," said Distancia, a child care aide who lives in Oakland.

The bill, AB 241, was Ammiano's second attempt at extending rights for domestic workers. He pushed a broader version of measure last year, which included requirements for meal breaks and rest periods.

Brown vetoed that measure, saying it raised questions on the unintended economic impacts for people who rely on domestic workers for care.

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melanie.mason@latimes.com

@melmason

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