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The Domestic Worker Bill of Rights

California Lawyers Bringing Claims for Employees

As a domestic worker doing your job in a residence, you may be unsure whether you have protections under the law. Domestic workers are those who care for people in their home or other properties. They include nannies, caregivers, child care providers, housekeepers, cooks, personal attendants, and other household workers. If you are a domestic worker who is concerned that your employer may have violated the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, you should call the California wage and hour attorneys at The Nourmand Law Firm. We can advise you on your rights and options.

The Domestic Worker Bill of Rights

With certain carefully delineated exceptions, you are entitled to a minimum wage and overtime pay as a domestic worker. Labor commissioners enforce the California wage and hour rules. Local minimum wage laws may be enforced when the work is performed in a city or county with a higher minimum wage ordinance. However, there are certain distinctions regarding the wage and hour rules, depending on the type of domestic worker.

Under the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, if you are a personal attendant, you are entitled to overtime pay for any hours that you work over nine each day or over 45 in a week. Personal attendants are those who feed, bathe, dress, or directly supervise anyone who is under their care. When you spend more than 20 percent of your time doing work other than dressing, feeding, or supervising a child, you are not considered a personal attendant under California law.

You will not be entitled to overtime if you are excluded under the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. You are excluded, for example, when you take care of a family member of yours. You are also excluded if you are under age 18 and working as a babysitter for a minor, or if you are a casual babysitter who sits for children on an irregular or intermittent basis, and you are not a babysitter by vocation.

When you are not regarded as a personal attendant under the law, you do not receive the same protections as a home-based caregiver. Duties such as doing laundry, making beds, cooking, and performing other tasks related to maintaining a private household or the premises may disqualify you from being considered a personal attendant. However, when you are considered a non-attendant, you will still receive regular overtime protections under Wage Order No. 15, which covers household occupations. This wage order provides that if you are a non-live-in domestic worker, you should receive overtime for hours that you work beyond eight in one day or 40 in one workweek. For example, if you come to a house to provide a cleaning service, you would receive the overtime protections available under Wage Order No. 15.

Meanwhile, if you are a live-in domestic worker, but not a personal attendant, you should receive overtime for any hours that you work beyond nine in a day and for the first nine hours that you worked on the sixth and seventh day in a row of the workweek. Live-in employees must receive double time pay for hours worked beyond nine on the sixth and seventh day in a row of a workweek.

Some employers are excluded from the requirements of the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. It is important to be aware of that possibility and seek out an attorney who understands which employers owe an obligation. Employers that are excluded include domestic worker registries or certain referral agencies that meet the requirements of Civil Code section 1812.5095, along with Unemployment Insurance Code section 687.2. Similarly, licensed health care facilities and those who receive services under the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program are excluded from the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights.

Consult a Seasoned Attorney for Wage and Hour Issues

If your California employer has failed to abide by the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, you should talk to our experienced employment lawyers about your situation as soon as possible. The Nourmand Law Firm represents domestic workers in San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and Riverside Counties, as well as Sacramento and Oakland, among other areas of California. Complete our online form or call us at 310-553-3600 or 800-700-WAGE (9243).

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