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Domestic worker is the legal classification for people who work in “domestic” jobs. These jobs include childcare, nannies, caregivers for the elderly or disabled, housekeepers, cooks, gardeners, and other household positions. These positions require a great deal of effort, time, and energy. Many of these positions require the worker to live onsite, or within the home of the employer.

Domestic positions are incredibly important, and domestic workers should be compensated and treated fairly. At For All Workers, we help domestic workers understand their rights and the protections provided to them under California law.

Your Rights as a Domestic Worker

In California, domestic workers are entitled to certain wage standards under the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights (California Labor Code sections 1450–1453 and 1454). These include:

  • Minimum Wage: Domestic workers are entitled to minimum wage, which is $12 per hour. The exception is babysitters who are under the age of 18, or the employers’ spouse, child, or parent. Some cities in California have set individual minimum wage guidelines that exceed federal and statewide minimum wage guidelines. These cities include:
    • Berkeley – $15
    • Oakland – $13.80
    • Los Angeles – $12 (25 or fewer employees); $13.25 (26 or more employees
    • San Francisco – $15
  • Overtime Pay: Domestic workers are entitled to overtime pay. The amount of overtime pay depends on the position and the number of hours worked. Babysitters under age 18, as well as family members of the employer do not qualify for overtime pay.
  • Meals and Breaks: Domestic workers are entitled to one 30-minute meal break (unpaid) per 5 hours of work. You are also entitled to at least one 10-minute rest break for shifts 3.5 hours or more, or a 20-minute break for shifts 6 hours or more.

Your Rights as a Domestic Worker

As a domestic worker, it is important that you keep good records and timesheets. This is the best way to document your hours worked and what you are paid. If your rights are being violated, you can use records and timesheets to prove your case.

If your employer has failed to provide you with the wage, overtime, or meal benefits that you are entitled to, contact For All Workers. You may be entitled to compensation not previously paid, and your employer may be required to pay you for violating your rights.

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