When the babysitter you've hired starts demanding a break from your nagging kids, it's not an act of divadom.
It's her legal right.
Or, it very well could be if a new state bill passes.
AB 889, dubbed The Domestic Worker's Bill of Rights by those who like it and The Babysitter Bill by those who don't, requires that “domestic employees” receive minimum wage (that's 8 bucks these days), meal and rest breaks, overtime pay, workers comp, timecards and paychecks. Those in this category include housekeepers, nannies, caregivers and babysitters over the age of 18. Family members are exempt. (So yes, you're free to have your 14-year-old watch your 6-year-old for a big ol' bag of
nothing hugs and kisses.)
According to the California Domestic Workers Coalition, the bill's sponsor, such regulations are needed because “domestic workers are isolated in individual private households, working behind closed doors, making them uniquely vulnerable to labor abuses and even physical abuses.”
Though many are crying nanny state, and some parents, like The Stir writer Jeanne Sager, see it as a major pain:
Not only do you have to do the impossible of tracking down a responsible college kid to hang with your tot on a Friday night so you can actually sit down for one meal where you don't have to cut up someone else's food. Now you have to find TWO of them. And the second one will have to agree to just show up every two hours for 15 minutes at minimum wage. AND you're going to have to explain to your 3-year-old why Miss Madison has to get up from the rousing game of SpongeBob Memory to go outside and take a break while this other guy comes in … for 15 minutes.
The bill, authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), has already passed the Assembly and is now pending in the State Senate.