Unions target nannies and farm workers

Aug. 31, 2012

By Katy Grimes

Farm workers and nannies have a couple of glaring things in common–they are jobs predominantly held by Hispanic men and women, currently exempted from overtime laws, and are being targeted by labor unions for takeover.

Democrats and labor unions are pushing to force employers to give nannies and farm workers overtime pay, workers compensation insurance, and mandatory breaks. But Democrats in the Assembly never once acknowledged that not all employers can provide a standardized eight-hour workday because of seasonal production or the need for some work to be done in concentrated periods.

Instead, Democrats arrogantly said that the industry can just absorb the costs.

But if industry can’t absorb the costs, it will be workers who pay the price.

California–the nanny state

California is a nanny state–literally. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, authored AB 889, requiring domestic workers to be paid overtime, given workers compensation insurance, and receive regular breaks and standard meal periods.

In the Assembly Thursday, Ammiano said that his bill was aimed at “giving these women a chance for advancement, and chance for employers to be fair,” and said “they have lived in the shadows too long.”

The nanny bill would require that caregivers in private households, over the age of 18, be paid overtime after eight hours, receive meals and rest periods, and have uninterrupted sleep periods and compensation for interruptions.

Even mothers don’t receive compensation for the interruptions they endure during the night. And who will relieve the babysitter during her breaks and meal periods?

The bill is just another a union-sponsored bill, and Ammiano is just another California Democrat who receives the maximum contributions from the state’s labor and public employee unions.

Earlier in the year, another bill, AB 101, was an attempt to unionize licensed child-care providers who run small, in-home day cares and relatives who take care of family members and receive a state subsidy. Assembly Speaker John Perez, the bill’s author, insisted that the bill’s purpose was to provide better working conditions for child-care providers.

AB 101 was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

But at the heart of these bills are labor unions. There is no denying the relationship between Democratic legislators and labor unions. The SEIU, AFSCME and the CTA benefit greatly whenever another industry is taken over through legislation, or weakened by additional stringent labor laws. Every time Democrats vote to expand the size of unions by taking over another industry, union membership and dues increase in value.

Farm workers

Agriculture workers aren’t the only employees exempted from the state’s overtime laws. There have been several bills aimed at removing the overtime exemption for agricultural employees.

AB 1313, by Assemblyman Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa, would change the law to require payment of overtime after an eight-hour workday, or 40 hours per week. But what Democrats will not admit is that AB 1313 would hurt both the farm worker and employer by limiting worker hours, resulting in the employer to hire more workers to make up the production difference.

Agricultural workers are already entitled to California overtime for all work beyond 10 hours in a workday, as well as weekly overtime pay. The California Farm Bureau reports that only three other states require overtime pay for agricultural workers, and none has such low thresholds as proposed in AB 1313.

Overtime exemptions

The exemptions to overtime laws are extensive. Most interesting, however, is that overtime wage orders expressly exempt public employees. Under listed exemptions, the Department of Industrial Relations website reads, “Employees directly employed by the State or any political subdivision thereof, including any city, county or special district.” So it exempts state employees from state law, but requires private sector employers to comply.

Legislators regularly approve laws and regulations but exempt the state from the restrictions.

Public employees are not the only employees exempted from the state’s overtime laws according to the DIR. The list of exempt jobs is long:

* Unionized employees working under a collective bargaining agreement

* Truck drivers

* Computer software employees

* Airline employees

* Sales representatives

* Taxi-cab drivers

* Nurses and student nurses

* Professional actors and film projector operators

* Commercial fishing employees

* Radio or television announcers and news editors

* Sheepherders

* Irrigators

* Personal attendants

* Babysitters

Quick history of OT

California’s overtime laws are complex and largely appear to be driven by the political party in power.

Overtime was enacted many years ago, to compensate employees who were being “overworked” by employers, defined by the government as working employees beyond eight hours in one workday. Overtime law requires employers to pay employees overtime equaling and one-half of employees’ hourly pay for working more than eight hours in one day, as well as more than 40 hours in one week. Double-time is paid after 12 hours in one day, and again on the seventh consecutive workday in one week.

In effect through 1997, the old daily overtime rules required only certain industries that had specific wage orders regulating them to pay overtime daily. Manufacturing and clerical workers were subjected to the daily overtime laws, but construction, mining and logging were not, so they could instead opt to pay daily overtime or defer to the federal standard of paying overtime after 40 hours worked in a workweek.

In 1998, Gov. Pete Wilson signed legislation relieving California’s employers from the state’s daily overtime laws, allowing employers to pay overtime after 40 hours in one week, instead of the daily overtime. Widely hailed as a pro-business move, Wilson’s goal was to give employers and employees more flexibility in production and schedules. Labor union representatives were outraged, and claimed their members would lose income with the overtime change.

Almost immediately, Assemblyman Wally Knox, D-Los Angeles, authored AB 60, which was referred to as organized labor’s reaction to Wilson’s elimination of daily overtime. In 1999, Gov. Gray Davis signed AB60, called the “Eight Hour Day Restoration and Workplace Flexibility Act of 1999,” dramatically changing the state’s overtime compensation laws. The act went into effect for most employers on January 1, 2000. However, the list of exemptions was long, and included public employees.

The 1999 act’s most dramatic change was the restoration of the daily overtime requirement. Ironically, union employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement were not covered by AB 60, nor were public employees.

Federal law, and the vast majority of states, only require that overtime be paid for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. However, California requires that overtime be paid after eight hours’ work in one workday and after 40 hours work in one workweek.

The daily overtime requirements must be met regardless of the total number of hours worked during the week. For employees who work seven consecutive days during the workweek, the act requires that the employee be paid one-and-a-half times the regular rate of pay for the first eight hours worked on the seventh day of work in a work week, and two times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of eight on the seventh day. Irrespective of the amount of time the employee has worked during the preceding six days, on the seventh day, the pay requirements apply.

OT doesn’t always fit

OT doesn’t work in some industries. Look at the list of exemptions; most of the jobs are largely production related and require periods of work in order to meet production. They can’t be molded into a standard 8-hour, state office worker workday. These people work when the work is there, and they work long hours when they need to. When they work is not available, they do not get paid.

Long-time seasonable or production employees understand that they make a great deal of money during some seasons, and can work long hours.

Ammiano’s AB 889 is unworkable, and if passed, would be back next year for technical clean ups. Babysitters and caregivers can’t take traditional breaks and have meal periods. Nor can they have uninterrupted sleep if they work overnight.

Even Democrats who were involved in the floor debate Thursday did not have valid points for support. “This will allow the DIR to have a thoughful conversation,” said Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez, D-Coachella.

“When we put people in charge of our loved ones, we need to make sure they have the same rights as other employees; then they can give us more confident care of our loved ones,” said Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley.

“This establishes basic rights and principles for nannies, elders, cooks, and provides basic rights all workers should have,” said Assemblyman Warren Furutani, D-Long Beach.

Support speeches for AB 1313, the farm worker bill, were just as asinine. Democrats never addressed the nature of the seasonal work, nor the reality of varying production needs. And why should they–most have never worked outside of government jobs, law firms or labor unions.

Deaf to the real issues faced by California employers, Allen said, “This industry will absorb the costs, and will pay overtime if necessary. You can’t put a price on equity.”

44 comments

Write a comment
  1. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 31 August, 2012, 08:46

    For U Haul re the nannies–

    Breath deep the gathering gloom
    watch lights fade in every room
    bed setted people look back in lament
    at another days useless images spent
    cold haerted orb that rules the night
    yellow red and orange white
    but you decide what is right
    and what is
    illusion.

    Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 31 August, 2012, 09:00

    Ah! So soothing….now I can face the rigors of the day….

    Poodle I want to hug you-

    Reply this comment
  3. Paul
    Paul 31 August, 2012, 10:10

    More liberal garbage from liberal garbage! These unions SEIU, AFSCME, CTA and the liberals are destroying California

    Reply this comment
  4. Ted
    Ted 31 August, 2012, 10:12

    LOL— Yes Paul– Liberals ruined California and leashes ruined surfing!!

    (you sound like a cranky old man…hey you kids get off the lawn! )

    Reply this comment
  5. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 31 August, 2012, 15:09

    Teddy. Paul might one of those with no hope and having challenges with change!

    We need to be patient and overlook hot alarming outbursts!

    Reply this comment
  6. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 31 August, 2012, 15:18

    LOL..I thought the title said Unions Target TRANNIES!…….and was thinking Teddy was going to be the happiest person on Earth 😉

    Reply this comment
  7. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 31 August, 2012, 15:24

    lol the Poodle is prjecting again……

    Poodle– 0 for 9 ™

    Reply this comment
  8. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 31 August, 2012, 19:25

    LIVE BETTER,WORK UNION!!!!!!!!

    Reply this comment
  9. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 31 August, 2012, 19:28

    Hey Katy, don’t forget to thank the unions for your holiday weekend!!!

    Reply this comment
  10. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 31 August, 2012, 19:38

    Hey NTHEOC, what journalist takes three-day weekends? Not this one.

    Katy

    Reply this comment
  11. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 31 August, 2012, 19:54

    I went too my local city hall today to serve some legal papers, they knock off at NOON on Fridays-even though their website says 8AM-5PM…..Grrrr!!! Only in the NTHEOC world of gov employment 🙂

    Reply this comment
  12. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 31 August, 2012, 20:34

    CalWatchdog says:
    Hey NTHEOC, what journalist takes three-day weekends? Not this one.
    Katy
    ===========
    I have already worked 96hrs this week!!Starting sunday i will work 48 more hrs in 2 days..

    Reply this comment
  13. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 31 August, 2012, 20:36

    Wouldn’t it be more proper and accurate to refer to yourself as an editorialist, rather than a journalist, Katy?

    Reply this comment
  14. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 31 August, 2012, 20:48

    “This establishes basic rights and principles for nannies, elders, cooks, and provides basic rights all workers should have,” said Assemblyman Warren Furutani, D-Long Beach.
    ===================
    All workers deserve basic rights!!! Unfortunately, romney/ryan and the corporate pigs of america believe that the best example of basic worker rights can be found in some child labor sweatshop in malaysia!!!

    Reply this comment
  15. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 1 September, 2012, 00:15

    I have already worked 96hrs this week!!Starting sunday i will work 48 more hrs in 2 days..

    LOL…NTHEOC still trying to claim that sleeping, shopping, cooking, working out and washing the big red truck is “work” 🙂

    NTHEOC, only a gov troughie coulD make that WHOpPER WITH A STRAIGHT FACE 😉

    Reply this comment
  16. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 1 September, 2012, 00:18

    NTHEOC there is really no difference between Romeny and Obama, they both are owned by Wall Street and Big Business- and they BOTH will ship our manufacturing and -other middle class jobs overseas for corporate profits. This has been going on by both sides under both sides presidents for the last 30 years now-dont expect it to change.

    Won’t make a difference who you vote for if you vote for either Romeny or Obama.

    Reply this comment
  17. sean morham
    sean morham 1 September, 2012, 05:17

    Almighty Father, have mercy on the property holders as they will be seized upon by the entitled, the police fire, the bureaucrats, plunderers all, who as chaos breaks out in the land of the sun, the mountains tall, the oceans majestic, they will need to replace your loaves, your fishes, gifts to those who sacrifice, not to the plunders. The entitled hordes will seek to devour the property owners, the children, the grandchildren to sustain their sinful ways. It is written in this the time of Peace, the time of Love, the time of Justice. and in the time of No Mercy. Almighy Father, we beseech you to have mercy. Amen.

    Reply this comment
  18. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 1 September, 2012, 08:13

    Rex the Wonder Dog! says:
    September 1, 2012 at 12:18 am
    NTHEOC there is really no difference between Romeny and Obama, they both are owned by Wall Street and Big Business
    ========
    I would say Romney has Obama beat in this catagory! Any presidential candidate in this day and age raking in this kind of money has been bought and paid for and will do the bidding of big money first, with we, the people at the bottom of the totem poll – I think it’s easy to distinguish between the right and wrong choice. The gap between the 1% and the rest will only get bigger with romney.Typical teabagging republicans like Mitt stand for a lot of wrong and evil things such as more ‘war’ for the further enrichment of the military-industrial complex (which has already drained our treasury), suppporting the bogus ‘war on terror’, bail-outs for the parasites in our financial system, the man has flip-flopped on almost every imaginable issue there is!!

    Reply this comment
  19. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 1 September, 2012, 09:50

    Your health care will be unionized….yes sor ree bob!

    Reply this comment
  20. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 1 September, 2012, 09:52

    Good points ntheoc— since we know Mitt off shores his quarter bil I wonder what he’s hiding in his tax returns? I mean– they forced the President to turn over his BC twice…..come on Mitt—- what are you hiding? He knows he is losing a least a few votes over this in a tight race, so, hmmmmm he must be hiding something if he is willing to let the votes go and the issue live…..maybe doddering old Clint can help him?

    Reply this comment
  21. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 1 September, 2012, 09:59

    I would say Romney has Obama beat in this catagory! Any presidential candidate in this day and age raking in this kind of money has been bought and paid for and will do the bidding of big money first, with we, the people at the bottom of the totem poll – I think it’s easy to distinguish between the right and wrong choice

    Well, if you would say Romney has Obama beat in taking Wall Street $$$ you would be flat our wrong. Obama has taken MORE money from Wall Street than any president in US History.

    But once again we’re talking headaches when the problem is stage 4 cancer. All the presidents from Ronnie Raygun to present have shipped jobs overseas or put foreign countries job growth ahead of US job growth. Clinton and NAFTA is a perfect example.

    Reply this comment
  22. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 1 September, 2012, 10:01

    Hey Teddy Mitt said he would turn over his tax returns as long as they’re printed on Obama’s college transcripts!

    Reply this comment
  23. Sean Morham
    Sean Morham 1 September, 2012, 10:57

    Home is on the range to practice for the aftermath of the terror of 2014.
    It is prophesized in the Book, and will come to pass that the property owners will need to fight off extermination as they become an integral part of the food chain of the plunderers, the enititled state employees, the entitled undocumented hordes, other moochers, It is written that the bloggers, their children, their grandchildren(and there it will end) will be consumed with great relish(and great quantities) by the plunderers.
    Chomp. Chomp.

    Reply this comment
  24. stevefromsacto
    stevefromsacto 1 September, 2012, 11:18

    Jesus said: Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.

    You must be reading the wrong Book.

    Reply this comment
  25. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 1 September, 2012, 11:37

    Sean Morham,
    Cvs pharmacy is calling you, your medication refill Is ready for pickup!!!!!

    Reply this comment
  26. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 1 September, 2012, 12:44

    Republicans sweating it out…they pay nannies and au pers slave wages…..it’s over!

    Reply this comment
  27. sean morham
    sean morham 1 September, 2012, 15:24

    NTHEOC,
    …. A great curse upon and your family for eternity.
    “It is the time of Peace, a time of Love, and a time for Justice; hence, this curse is sanctified that there will be No Mercy, in this world, and whatever world is after this one for NTHEOC and his Family.” Thank-you Father for Justice.
    Chomp, Chomp….

    Reply this comment
  28. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 1 September, 2012, 16:32

    Bring Beelz back!!!!

    Reply this comment
  29. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 1 September, 2012, 19:29

    Poodle beddy bye!

    Reply this comment
  30. sean morham
    sean morham 1 September, 2012, 19:38

    Sleep tight. The unfed masses will soon will seek sustenance/ Perhaps it will be at su casa, hombre, Chomp, chomp…too much grizzle on the old bones. Thanks Almighty Father, for my enemies will eat, and I will sleep.

    Reply this comment
  31. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 2 September, 2012, 08:52

    What the..

    Reply this comment
  32. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 2 September, 2012, 10:53

    Teddy-you leaving me??????

    Reply this comment
  33. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 2 September, 2012, 13:18

    Poodle sweat hogging at the Randsburg Doomsday Faire!

    Reply this comment
  34. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 2 September, 2012, 16:08

    Pack and ship in the high desert!

    Single wide, swamp cooler Poodle Beck bunker squad!

    Reply this comment
  35. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 2 September, 2012, 17:48

    You forgot boot shiner Hannity and Dah …..Laura Ingram!

    Reply this comment
  36. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 2 September, 2012, 22:19

    Hi teddy….I mean Uhaul 🙂

    Reply this comment
  37. Teddy S.
    Teddy S. 3 September, 2012, 08:27

    LOL yes “boot shiner” Hannity!!!!!!!!

    Reply this comment
  38. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 3 September, 2012, 15:00

    Hi Teddy ! 🙂

    BobA wants to have a meet n greet with you teddy, and the sock puppets 😉

    Reply this comment
  39. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 3 September, 2012, 15:32

    Poodle do you really think it is good idea to deal on any level with suspect possibly violent posters?

    Reply this comment
  40. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 3 September, 2012, 18:00

    Teddy, who are you referring to, Bob?????????

    Why do you think he is violent?????

    I mean, sure lots of people want to smack you around, but would that actually be considered violence????? Or entertainment 😉

    Reply this comment
  41. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 3 September, 2012, 20:48

    Rex Poodle– again with the violence ref?

    Grow up little fella!

    Reply this comment
  42. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 3 September, 2012, 22:26

    Poodle you best assess your position encouraging unbalanced posters….do you want blood on your hands?

    Reply this comment
  43. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 4 September, 2012, 00:28

    LOL…Teddy you are the biggest wuss ever 😉

    Reply this comment
  44. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 4 September, 2012, 07:14

    Poodle get help.

    Reply this comment

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