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Will Domestic Workers Rights Bill bring change?

Will Domestic Workers Rights Bill bring change?

Rocio washes dishes as part of her job. | Andrea Martinez

Rocio washes dishes as part of her job. | Andrea Martinez

California passed a Domestic Workers Rights Bill back in January that extends overtime hours for domestic workers and assures minimum wage protections. However, some workers still experience injustice such as wage theft in such an unregulated industry. We spent a day with Rocio, who cares for kids at a house in Santa Monica, to learn about the daily life of a domestic worker.

Click play to hear from Rocio in a story for Annenberg Radio News:

See also on Intersections: Ramiro Gomez paints L.A.’s “invisible” workers

A study conducted by the International Labour Organization states that domestic workers are critical to the U.S. economy. However, these hard-working individuals don’t receive proper protections granted to the average working American. According to a survey conducted by the National Domestic Workers Alliance Data Center, 48 percent of workers are paid an hourly wage below the level needed to adequately support a family, and 67 percent of live-in workers are paid below the state minimum wage. The survey also found the median hourly wage to be $6.15.

According to the ILO, domestic workers often belong to disadvantaged communities and minority ethnic groups, making them particularly vulnerable.

Despite the industry’s huge proportions, only three states have passed a domestic workers’ bill of rights, which include overtime pay, meal and rest breaks along with adequate sleeping conditions for live-in workers. Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio and Oregon have all tried passing such bills, but have failed.

– See more at: http://intersectionssouthla.org/story/domestic-worker-bill-rights/#sthash.D1qsRGDs.dpuf

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