Domestic workers rally for more rights

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Pans and Pots are not cooking tools today.

Domestic workers and community leaders from across the country gathered in downtown Los Angeles today calling attention to the newly launched state bill, AB 241, California Domestic Wokers Bill of Rights.

The Bill would ensure California domestic workers the same rights that most other laborers enjoy. For example, overtime, meal and rest breaks, workers' compensation, 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep for live-in household workers. access to kitchen facilities and sick days off.

"It's just a fair understanding that domestic workers do deserve breaks. They deserve to sit down on the jobs, not be constantly working the whole day," said Dalia Yedidia, the director of California Domestic Worker Coalition.

According to a study conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago, most domestic workers are women and most are immigrants. And they play a critical role in the U.S. economy. They help families meet many of the most basic physical, emotional and social needs of the young and old.

"You need to support these women, you need to support us," said Angelica Salas, the executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. "Because in the end, we make this state roll, we make these families hold, we are the women and the men who are going to make sure that you can do the job and everyone else in the state can do their jobs."

These workers are the poeple who take care of the children and homes of many California residents. With no laws to protect them, they are subject to the whims of their employers.

Jovan Marea works as a babysitter remembered "The bosses give you overtime work and don't give you time to eat, that's why we are here."

Opponents of the Bill said the provisions are unmanageable in domestic settings and could result in domestic workers losing their jobs.

But domestic workers are not deferred. They plan to hold different events each Thursday to continue the push for more rights.