California’s Domestic Worker Bill of Rights (AB241) took effect yesterday, making California the third state in the nation to enact such a law; New York passed theirs in 2010, and Hawaii’s passed in 2012. The law grants overtime protections to domestic workers in private homes in California. Domestic workers are defined as caregivers and child care providers who spend a significant amount of time caring for children, elderly, or people with disabilities, or those performing household occupations, such as housekeepers and maids.
AB 241 provides overtime protection to personal attendants as follows: one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked over nine hours in any workday, and for all hours worked more than 45 hours in the workweek. New federal regulations that take effect in 2015 require overtime pay after 40 hours in a workweek, rather than 45. This rule will supplement California’s law and require overtime pay after 40 hours for California domestic workers beginning in 2015.
The law also provides that domestic workers receive at least the minimum wage, which in California is currently $8 an hour but will rise to $9 in July, and is also scheduled to rise to $10 by 2016. A federal rule change last year required minimum wage and overtime for home healthcare workers across the country, but this California bill extends protections to in-home child care workers, who are not included in the federal ruling. The cities of San Francisco and San Jose have also increased their minimum wage, effective yesterday.
The law excludes daily meal and rest break provisions, uninterrupted sleep requirements, and exempts occasional babysitters from overtime requirements. It also includes a three-year “sunset” provision, which means the governor will set up a committee to review the success of the bill, and lawmakers will have three years to make it permanent.