Calif. bill proposes work rules, meal breaks for babysitters

by Walter Olson on September 1, 2011

The bill would also require employers of babysitters, i.e. parents, to prepare extensive paperwork and keep it on file for at least three years after a wage payment. Some critics say the obligation to provide periodic breaks would require families to hire a second sitter to relieve the first. Homeowners would be required to permit all-day domestic workers to prepare their own food in the family kitchen and would be forbidden to object to the workers’ choice of food. AB 889, sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-S.F.) and grandly labeled the “Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights,” has passed the lower house in Sacramento and will now be considered by the Senate. [NBC Los Angeles, Matt Welch, Sen. Doug LaMalfa, earlier] Last year New York made itself the first state to extend general workplace regulation to domestic employment.

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Go for it, Sacramento
09.08.11 at 3:05 pm

{ 12 comments }

1 CTrees 09.01.11 at 6:33 am

“Homeowners would be required to permit all-day domestic workers to prepare their own food in the family kitchen and would be forbidden to object to the workers’ choice of food.”

Allow me to be the first to say – nay, scream – “PEANUT ALLERGY!”

Actually, I have a truly shellfish allergy verging on the level of some of those peanut allergies – even being in a room where the stuff has been recently is enough to trigger a reaction, and I’ve wound up in the emergency room several times, now. If I were forced to allow shellfish into my home?

And of course, this says nothing about religious issues. Fortunately, California has a terrific history of working to come to equitable solutions, respecting the needs of employers and employees alike, and seeking to find compromise between the two parties. Right? Oh… right.

2 Doug 09.01.11 at 6:38 am

more idiocy.

3 Bob Lipton 09.01.11 at 6:42 am

Isn’t your death reasonable accommodation?

Bob

4 Difster 09.01.11 at 7:26 am

This is unbelievably moronic.

It’s not like people aren’t already struggling enough just to get by, California is going to make it not worth anyone’s time to hire domestic employees so as not to run afoul of these regulations and get their butts sued off!

I think if this passes, I’ll become a domestic employee for some rich people and sue like crazy when they don’t follow the letter of the law.

5 Frank 09.01.11 at 8:44 am

“It’s not like people aren’t already struggling enough just to get by, California is going to make it not worth anyone’s time to hire domestic employees ”

Shouldn’t this read ‘It’s not like people who are struggling just to get by hire domestic employees.’

6 Walter Olson 09.01.11 at 8:55 am

>Shouldn’t this read ‘It’s not like people who are struggling just to get by hire domestic employees.’

No, it shouldn’t read that. Babysitting (and casual hiring for elder care) is a service much used by working families struggling to get by, especially if they are trying to work two jobs or multiple shifts.

7 GregS 09.01.11 at 9:45 am

Re food allergies: I doubt that the law would be interpreted as requiring you to allow domestic help to bring into your home food that someone in the family is allergic to. Actually I think the real risk is the opposite: that the homeowner may end up being forbidden to bring in food that the domestic help is allergic to, because that would be a ‘reasonable accommodation’ of the help’s disability.

8 James 09.01.11 at 10:01 am

Crucially, the bill (as currently ammended) does not include what everyone thinks you mean by babysitter: “Any person under 18 years of age who is employed as a babysitter for a minor child of the domestic work employer.” It also doesn’t cover relatives. I think it’s still probably too expansive, but providing some basic break requirements to 40-hour a week nannies, the true target of this bill, is not that ridiculous.

9 Mark Biggar 09.01.11 at 10:57 am

The eventual outcome of this bill will be that the only practical way to hire any such worker will be by contracting through a (probably unionized) service company that will be the actual employer of record for the worker likely at a significantly much higher price due to overhead, etc. I wonder how much Merry-Maids paid their lobbyists to push this one.

10 Mannie 09.01.11 at 4:48 pm

Drive the service employees out of the private sector, and into unionized government shops. The government will protect you and care for you.

Pass the cake.

11 H 09.02.11 at 11:16 am

Shouldn’t employers also be required to provide paid maternity leave for their nannies/au-pairs?

12 Ron Miller 09.02.11 at 12:45 pm

Am I the only one who is worried how this is going to affect Arnold?

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