Domestic Worker Bill of Rights
For over a dozen years, MUA, alongside grassroots domestic worker member-based organizations that are part of the California Domestic Workers Coalition, organized to win the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (AB 241). In 2016, this bill was signed into permanent law by then-Governor Jerry Brown. The law extends overtime protections to personal attendants who care for and support thousands of individuals and families in California, including children, seniors and people with disabilities. This right to both daily and weekly overtime, covering all domestic workers not part of the In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program, set a precedent for being the strongest law of its kind when it was passed.
Passing the law was a momentous, precedent-setting victory. However, having the law on the books means little if domestic workers are not aware of their rights, if employers are unaware of their responsibilities, and if the state does not enforce the law. For this reason, in 2017 MUA helped launch the Coalition’s statewide education and enforcement campaign by co-producing the video Dignity in Action: Uplifting the Work in our Homes.
Starting in 2018, we lobbied the state Budget Committee and Department of Industrial Relations to put some teeth behind the law. Our efforts came to fruition with an unprecedented $5.5 million budget allocation over 5 years for domestic worker domestic worker and employer outreach and education programs. In 2019, MUA and the California Domestic Worker Coalition submitted a successful proposal to the Department of Industrial Relations to receive the first 3 years of this allocation to strengthen our capacity to reach workers and employers statewide.
Today, our organizing drive continues via the statewide Domestic Worker Outreach and Education Program, supported by the California Department of Industrial Relations.
Through this program, we are working to:
- Reach out to more domestic workers than ever before via in person outreach and digital tools.
- Organize workshops about domestic worker rights and protections for hundreds of workers online and in person.
- Develop worker leadership by training up our members to be organizers and labor rights counselors.
- Provide intensive labor rights counseling to workers who have been exploited and abused, or who face unsafe working conditions, to help them determine how to protect themselves. We connect them with pro bono legal counsel, help them file grievances, and help them navigate the justice system.