(September 14, 2012) The California Chamber of Commerce is urging members to ask the Governor to veto an unreasonable and nonsensical measure that would overwhelm families with small children. The bill threatens to place children in the care of a domestic worker in harm’s way.
AB 889 (Ammiano; D-San Francisco) will provide the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) with authority to develop regulations that will place onerous wage-and-hour mandates on working families.
The bill requires the DIR to adopt regulations no later than January 2014 for “domestic work employees,” which the bill generally defines as any individual who performs “domestic work” such as housekeeping, child care, and other “household occupations.”
The adopted regulations must include provisions addressing overtime compensation, meal and rest periods, and sleep periods, or simply adopt the regulations set forth in Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order No. 15. The CalChamber argues that this mandate is unreasonable given the breadth of the definitions for a domestic work employee and domestic work employer, as well as the burden such regulations will create.
For example, a nanny over the age of 18 who cares for children on a daily basis falls within the definition of a “domestic work employee” under AB 889 and would be covered by these regulations. The working parents of the children would be “domestic work employers” and therefore would have to “provide” the nanny with a 10-minute rest period at or before four hours of work and a 30-minute, uninterrupted meal period at or before five hours of work.
A meal or rest period requirement is only one of the potential wage-and-hour burdens this bill would impose on working families of California. AB 889 also requires the DIR to implement regulations regarding the payment of overtime compensation as well as sleep periods for domestic work employees.
As demonstrated by the overwhelming number of employment lawsuits filed on a daily basis in California, sophisticated businesses, with professional human resources staff and employment attorneys, struggle with the proper implementation of these very same onerous California-only wage-and-hour requirements.
The detrimental impact of this potential liability will either discourage any working family from retaining the services of “domestic work employees,” thereby increasing the unemployment rate in California; or force such working families to enter into the underground economy, as compliance with these requirements would simply be too costly. Either scenario will serve only to further harm California’s economy, and create additional financial hardships to families and domestic employees.
The CalChamber is urging members to contact the Governor and ask him to veto AB 889.
See sample veto letter
Staff Contact: Jennifer Barrera