Pinoy caregivers in California seek passage of workers' rights bill

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Apr 15 2011 06:31 PM | Updated as of Apr 16 2011 02:32 AM

SACRAMENTO, California – About 200 caregivers and their supporters traveled to the State Capitol in Sacramento to attend the first hearing on the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. 

The bill would grant caregivers and domestic workers the rights to minimum wage, overtime pay, sick and vacation leaves, proper rest breaks and health care coverage. 
 
Tony Reta, 69, who once cared for 9 elderly patients on a daily basis, said caregivers are burdened with round-the-clock hard work.  He said, “Not only do you have to care for the patients, you have to care for the home where you work. It’s not a joke. It’s hard work.” 
 
Another caregiver, 60-year-old Boots de Chavez traveled all the way from Los Angeles to let California lawmakers know how much they’ve suffered.  
 
She said, “We feel there are no rewards to our hard work. We don’t have any protection at work.” 
 
Reta and de Chavez’ prayers for support from the government were answered. The California Assembly Committee passed the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.  But the bill has to go through the Assembly floor, the Senate committee and the Senate floor before it goes to Governor Jerry Brown’s office for signing. 
 
If it passes among California lawmakers, Brown could sign the bill by September. 
 
New York is the only state in the nation that has passed a similar bill of rights for caregivers and domestic workers.

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