HomeTruths: Domestic Workers in California

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on September 15, 2013

“Domestic workers play a significant role in the California economy, yet these workers are vulnerable to substandard  employment because their work is both invisible and largely excluded from employment protections. Nannies, caregivers,  and housecleaners, hired directly by their employers, are not subject to a range of protections that apply to other workers. They are excluded from the federal right to organize and bargain collectively and health and safety law. Many are also excluded  from workers’ compensation, rights to overtime pay and meal and rest breaks, and anti-discrimination laws. The work of nannies, housecleaners, and caregivers is notoriously difficult to document because of the hidden nature of the  work, and it is this isolation that renders domestic workers vulnerable to substandard working conditions. In part to address  the lack of systematic data on domestic work and workers, the National Domestic Worker Survey was conducted in 14 cities.  The sample analyzed in this report includes 631 domestic workers in four metropolitan areas in California: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose.” [National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is the nation’s leading voice for domestic workers, most of whom are immigrant women and women of color. NDWA works to bring respect, dignity, and protection to this growing  workforce, both here in the United States and as part of the global movement for domestic worker rights. Since NDWA was  started by a handful of domestic worker groups, it has grown to become a powerful alliance of 35 local, membership-based  affiliate organizations of over 10,000 nannies, housecleaners, and caregivers in 18 cities and 12 states around the country.”

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