California is now the third US State to have enacted a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights following New York and Hawaii.
Benefits for Caregivers
The law, in which similar measures were passed in New York and Hawaii, was signed by Governor Jerry Brown and requires that caregivers be paid time and a half overtime pay for the number of hours worked past nine hours each work day.
Expected to cover approximately 100,000 people in California alone, the law will apply to workers who live and work in homes such as nannies and caretakers.
Supporters of the law claim that it will lead to increased job creation because employers will be required to hire multiple caregivers instead of paying overtime to one overworked employee.
Some supporters say however that the law is only a partial victory. Members of Migrante International, an organization that advocates on behalf of domestic workers say that the new law does not include the right of live-in employees to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep or the right of live-in employees to adequate and sanitary sleeping conditions. In addition, the new law does not grant the right to meal and rest breaks nor does it contain any right to paid days following one-year of work with an employer.
US Immigration Lawyers in Manila
US visa lawyers in the Philippines who advise and consult with Filipinos who are seeking US employment visas stress that while the law is in place to protect domestic workers, US immigration law does not have a specific US visa category for domestic workers.
The only exception is that of a B1 visa which is reserved for domestic employees of non-immigrant families who are in the United States temporarily.
Positive US Immigration Law Changes
However, US visa lawyers in Manila do see a number of positive improvements with the new law as it will provide additional security to domestic workers who are accompanying their employers and are often unaware of their rights as temporary US workers.