Part of the problem in Oregon was that the push for domestic workers’ legislation did not include enough grassroots mobilization by the state’s estimated 10,000 domestic workers who are currently excluded from overtime and other protections.
The California domestic workers’ bill of rights passed the state assembly Wednesday—but similar bills have twice been passed and vetoed. It’s unclear whether Gov. Brown will veto it again.
Organizing in Georgia and Illinois shows that the domestic workers’ movement is not exclusive to predictable blue states.
Legal protections for domestic workers have historically been weak. But despite a major loss in California at the hands of Governor Jerry Brown, the domestic workers’ rights movement and its supporters feel the tide may be turning in their favor.
In a move that stunned activists, California’s domestic workers bill of rights was vetoed Sunday. But this will not deter the tenacious organizers at NDWA who are both motivated by love and armed with a multifaceted strategy.
While laws may not be sufficient on their own — laws never mean much without the advocates who ensure their enforcement — they are a necessary step in improving the labor conditions of domestic workers.