Unfortunately, such predicament still always happens to household employees due to the lack of extensive labor laws protecting them. Typically, maids and nannies have only little or actually no power at all to avoid harassments, discriminations and employment malpractices. Therefore, unpaid overtime is a very common issue for them.
Fortunately, under the new California employment law signed by Governor Jerry Brown, nannies and domestic workers will now be entitled to overtime pay. The new legislature will require employers to pay time-and-a-half overtime to their nannies, maids or personal assistants who work more than nine hours a day or 45 hours a week.
Actually, this is a second major victory for the state’s minimum wage earners. It could be remembered that just a while ago, the Golden State approved a law increasing its minimum wage by $10 from $8, making it the country’s highest so far.
Ever since, California is quite sincere in providing extensive protections and benefits to employees particularly to lower wage earners.
However, opponents of the new law contested that the said move could force employers to either cut hours or hire fewer people.
On the other hand, the author of the law, Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano defended the law by claiming that, “Domestic workers are primarily women of color, many of them immigrants, and their work has not been respected in the past. Now, they will be entitled to overtime, like just about every other California working person.”
The new law will take effect on January 1. However, it is not permanent since under the sunset clause, the protections would end in 2017 if it is not extended by the Legislature.
Meanwhile, many lower wage earners are pleased with the new law. As for them, they can now press their employers for the excess hours they work. Also, the nature of their work would now be recognized as a real job.
Moreover, according to reports, in a statement released by the Labor Secretary, Thomas Perez, he said, “Many American families rely on the vital services provided by direct care workers. Because of their hard work, countless Americans are able to live independently, go to work and participate more fully in their communities.”
“Household employees make a very vital role in our family. Imagine how they sacrifice their own family just to make sure that they provide everything we need and that they accomplished everything that has to be done in our home. Other than that, we entrusted them the entire safety and well-being of our kids while we are away. So let us not take advantage of their weaknesses and being powerless. Let us treat them with dignity and give them what they truly deserve,” commented by a California employment discrimination lawyer.