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Law Extends Overtime Pay to California Domestic Workers

October 3, 2013

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill on September 26 extending time-and-a-half overtime pay to an estimated 200,000 domestic workers, including some providing personal care to elders and people with disabilities.

The law will take effect in January 2014. Domestic workers will be entitled to receive time-and-a-half pay for working more than 45 hours a week, or more than 9 hours a day.

“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), the author of the bill. “Now they will be entitled to overtime like just about every other California working person.”

The new overtime law represents a stripped-down version of the “domestic workers’ bill of rights” that Brown vetoed in 2012. The “bill of rights,” which was also written by Ammiano, would have mandated meal and rest breaks for domestic workers in addition to time-and-a-half overtime pay.

The new law will expire in January 2017, unless lawmakers renew it.

Starting in January 2015, these personal care workers will receive additional protections under the new federal rule recently announced by the U.S. Department of Labor.

That rule extends overtime pay to home care workers who work more than 40 hours a week. The state provision requiring overtime pay for workdays of 9 hours or more, however, will remain in effect for domestic workers covered under the new state law since the federal rule does not provide a daily hour requirement for overtime.

Babysitters in California are specifically exempted from the new overtime-pay requirement.

— by Matthew Ozga

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