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‘The Help’ Today — Bay Area domestic workers advocate for fair labor practices (VIDEO)

By Jennifer Gonzalez and Claudia Nunez | 1 Apr 2012

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This video is the first in a three-part multimedia series examining the lives of domestic workers – “The Help” – in the Bay Area. Part II profiles Enma Delgado, a Bay Area nanny from El Salvador who left her own three children behind to work caring for American children. In part III, two domestic workers share the sacrifices they made when their own children were young, and how those sacrifices have paid off now that those children are in college.

Many have lauded the bestselling book and hit film, “The Help,” for its portrayal of life as an African American nanny and maid during the turbulent 1960s civil rights era. Today, the appearance of a domestic worker has changed, but working conditions for the men and women — often immigrants — who clean homes and care for children and the elderly can still be difficult.

Currently, lawmakers and activists in California are lobbing for passage of AB 889 which would give domestic workers the same legal rights and protection given to other employees in the state, including overtime protections, inclusion in workers compensation coverage, and the right to meal and rest breaks.

AB 889 has passed the California Assembly and is currently in the last committee hearings in the the state senate. A committee vote will likely take place in the next few weeks. If it passes, AB 889  will move to a vote of the full senate and then to the governor’s desk to be signed.

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