Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act Passes

On August 29, the California Senate passed AB 889, the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act which expanded benefits for nannies, child care providers, caregivers and housekeepers.  This bill allowed for an increase in benefits including workers compensation benefits, overtime, and meal breaks.  

The bill is controversial because of some of the more egregious demands it places on parents who hire nannies, babysitters, and caregivers.  These include the requirement to pay caregivers with itemized pay stubs, to provide 10- minute breaks every 2 hours and ½ hour meal breaks every 5 hours, to pay the State minimum of $8/ hr plus overtime, and more.  

Parents must also provide caregivers with a written copy of the Labor Code.  Parents who willingly violate any of these can be held liable for attorney’s fees, a $750 fine, and more.  Opponents of the bill state that this is the result of California’s desire to become a “nanny state.”  

The applicability of this law is only to care givers over the age of 18 and who aren’t family members.  Therefore, you can keep hiring the teenager next door for $4 an hour but the second she turns 18, you’ll have to provide her with minimum wage plus overtime and accounting forms.

The bill was introduced in order to protect the many immigrants currently holding these positions.  However, it does seem that it’s got some impractical parts to it.  How do caregivers take a break when they’re watching children? Will parents be forced to obtain worker’s compensation insurance?  

Do you hire two babysitters to ensure the breaks are being taken properly? Do you keep a stack of the labor code by the door to provide your babysitter? 

This bill produces more questions than it answers.