Brown Vetoes Domestic Workers Bill
LOS ANGELES — Saying that signing the bill into law could cost the state nearly $200 million, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed AB 889 better known as the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
In his statement, Brown had more questions than answers about the bill that would have provided mandatory overtime pay, rest and meal breaks, among other labor protections to the 200,000 caregivers — many of them Filipinos - statewide.
In his reasoning for vetoing the bill, Brown questioned what the "economic and human impact on the disabled or elderly person and their family" if the bill is signed into law.
"What would be the additional costs and what is the financial capacity of those taking care of loved ones in the last years of life? Will it increase costs to the point of forcing people out of their homes and into licensed institutions? Will there be fewer jobs for domestic workers? Will the available jobs be for fewer hours?"
Brown said he vetoed the bill because of those uncertainties and that a possible "drafting error" could cost the state $200 million dollars.
He asked for the State Department of Industrial Relations to provide answers to his questions before he would consider signing a similar bill again.
"In the face of consequences both unknown or unintended, I find it more prudent to do the studies before considering an untested legal regime for those that work in our homes," he said.
This is the second time a Domestic Workers Rights Bill was vetoed by a governor of California.
In 2006, a similar bill passed the state legislature before then governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill.
This bill sponsored by the California Domestic Workers Coalition, labor unions and headed by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-SF), was introduced last year and had garnered a lot of community and political support as it made its way through the state legislature. But to no avail.
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) and its member organizations in Southern California immediately issued a statement denouncing Governor Brown's decision to veto the bill.
"Governor Brown's actions are a clear sign that the civil rights and labor rights of workers and immigrants are a low priority for US politicians and leaders," NAFCON officials said.
"We demand that Governor Brown listen to the cries of countless domestic workers and immigrant families and oppose anti-immigrant policies and unequal labor protection," they added.
Joseph Pimentel is a writer for Asian Journal.
Photo of Governor Jerry Brown courtesy of www.indybay.org
This article originally appeared in Asian Journal.
Read more Asian Journal stories »
Commentscomments powered by Disqus