Two Democrats—from California and New York City, no less—are leading the charge against legislation that would give domestic workers lunch breaks and paid sick days, among other things. Salon‘s Irin Carmon has the story.
In fact, two policy prescriptions that are catching on across the country – modest by the standards of other industrialized nations, but radical enough to inspire feverish opposition from Chamber of Commerce types — have recently been opposed by Democrats apparently seeking to appear “pro-business.” One is the domestic worker’s bill of rights, which passed in New York state in 2010 but was vetoed by California Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday. It would have provided overtime pay and meal breaks to the 200,000 childcare workers and housecleaners — disproportionately women of color, many of them immigrants — who are currently filling the care gap in a relatively ad-hoc fashion. Brown claimed in his veto that he had questions about “the economic and human impact on the disabled or elderly person and their family” and whether this would mean fewer jobs for domestic workers overall.
Meanwhile, the New York City Council has enough votes to pass a paid sick-days bill to override a veto from Mayor Michael Bloomberg — if only Democratic mayoral aspirant and current speaker Christine Quinn would bring it to a vote. A spokeswoman for Quinn told the Times last week, “Given the current economic reality, now is not the right time for this policy.”
Thank God we have those Democrats to protect us against the Republicans.