Leland Yee: Personal domestic attendant

Leland Yee: Child psychologist, county supervisor, school board member, state lawmaker – and now, personal domestic attendant.

Leland YeeFor a day, at least. Yee, D-San Francisco, will work Wednesday as an attendant to Ursula McGuire, 77, a board member at Senior and Disability Action. Yee’s duties will include helping McGuire with her weekly shopping, and so he’s holding an 11 a.m. news conference at a Target store in San Francisco.

He’s trying to call attention to AB 241, the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, which would extend labor protections such as overtime pay and meal and rest breaks to domestic workers. Current state law’s protections for such workers are vague in places and omit some workers entirely, Yee says.

The California Domestic Workers Coalition says the state has more than 200,000 housekeepers, nannies, caregivers and others in private homes – primarily immigrant women who are their own families’ primary earners. Without them, many of those they serve would have trouble remaining in the workforce as well, the coalition contends – yet many domestic workers have been paid wages below the poverty line and remain excluded from some basic labor protections.

Opponents of Ammiano’s bill, including the California Association for Health Services at Home and various individual home-care companies and individuals, argue it would reduce their ability to provide affordable care to elderly or disabled clients and would make it very hard to provide care to those needing around-the-clock assistance, according to a state Senate staff analysis.

The Assembly in May voted 45-25 to pass AB 241; the state Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee in June passed it 3-1; and it’s scheduled to be heard next Monday, Aug. 12, by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • GV Haste

    Great bill. Now any senior who has live in help can expect to pay a minimum of $6,000 a month if they want to remain in their home.

    They’ll be flocking to the “institutions” after this bill passes. No way to stay at home with a trusted aid.

    Oh yes, and if you hire that local babysitter for more than 6 hours per week, get home early or face a hefty workman’s comp bill which will be required.
    Don’t forget the Social Security contribution.

  • RR Senile Columnist

    I ain’t hiring no SF leftie to take care of my kin. He’s liable to turn em into Occupy Something or Other agitators!

  • Kathy Janz

    Problem with this bill is that it excludes the referral agencies that just issue 1099s to their workers but look identical to the home care agencies that employ their workers which means that the aides are not eligible for workers compensation nor any government entitlement including disability, unemployment or Medicare and Social Security benefits.
    This exclusion will cheat the taxpayers, the seniors and the workers. Yee has been told about this exclusion but is following union demands that would have all home care workers convert to ICs.