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Labor Lauds California Domestic Worker Bill, Critics Warn of Costly Care

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, February 24, 2012

If Democratic Assemblymember Tom Ammiano's bill is signed into law, caregivers for kids, the elderly and disabled will have the right to overtime pay and rest breaks.

All in-home workers will also be entitled to uninterrupted sleep, and the use of their clients' kitchens.

Andrea Mercado is from the California Domestic Worker Coalition.

MERCADO:"There are a lot of horror stories out there, and that's what this bill is making sure these workers can work with dignity and respect."

But Joe Hafkenshiel of the California Association for Health Services at Home says the price of overtime could put the service out of reach.

HAFKENSHEIL: "Right now, home care is cheaper than nursing home care, but if overtime were required it would become more expensive and only the very wealthy would be able to afford this service."

The bill is stalled in the California Senate Appropriations Committee.
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