After working for ten hours straight with no rest, you shouldn’t have to worry about not getting paid. You shouldn’t have to be afraid of losing your job if you refuse to have sex with your boss. Most of us take these basic protections for granted.
But for many domestic workers, the vast majority of whom are women, this is their reality. Without any formal protections, they’re often at the total mercy of their employers and incredibly vulnerable to exploitation. This can range from daily exposure to harsh chemicals, working long hours with no meal breaks, or even designated sleep times.
They have nowhere to go for recourse because they don’t enjoy the most basic worker protections.
There are some rays of hope, though. Right now New York is the only state that provides basic labor protections to domestic workers, and it could soon have company. In 2012, a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights passed the California House and Senate, only to be vetoed by Governor Brown. Unwilling to back down, the National Domestic Workers Alliance launched a campaign to pass the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2013.
You can take action right now and support their vital work by signing this petition to Governor Brown and the California Legislature that supports a California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Already signed? Share the petition with your friends and family so we can reach our goal of 20,000 signatures. Together, we can ensure that thousands of domestic workers get the basic protections they deserve.
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Callie Spaide is Participant Media’s Manager of Digital Social Action. Before she was changing the world on TakePart.com, she helped nonprofits navigate social media and email fundraising in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.