Know Your Rights
These rights are afforded to domestic workers regardless of immigration status, race, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
Domestic workers have a right to receive the applicable payment of minimum wage depending on jurisdiction.
Your employer must pay you at least the minimum wage required for your workplace. If the city or municipality you work in does not have its own minimum wage rate, then your employer must pay the State of California’s minimum wage rate, which is $14 an hour as of July 1, 2021. Failure to pay the correct wages will result in fines to the employer. You may file a complaint at dcba.lacounty.gov or call 800-593-8222.
To determine which jurisdiction applies to your workplace, you can contact DCBA at 800-593-8222 or visit https://lavote.net/apps/precinctsmaps.
You have a protected right to file a complaint, inform persons of their potential rights and assert your rights under the law. Your employer is prohibited from acting in retaliation if you exercise your rights.
You have a right to file a complaint with DCBA regardless of your immigration status.
Domestic workers have a right to overtime pay.
With the passage of the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, most domestic workers are now entitled to some form of overtime pay, but there are exceptions. Your overtime pay depends on the type of domestic work that you do and whether you live-in or live-out of your employer’s home. For more information, visit cadomesticworkers.org/know-your-rights.
Domestic workers have a right to regular meal and rest breaks.
Domestic workers are entitled to a 10-minute paid break every 4 hours and a 30-minute unpaid, meal break after every 5 hours of work. You should be relieved of all work duties during your breaks. An on-duty paid meal break is only OK under very limited circumstances.
Your employer must pay one additional hour of pay for each work day that there is a rest break violation and another hour of pay if there is a meal break violation. To file a complaint, you may file a wage claim with the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.
Domestic workers have a right to workers’ compensation benefits to cover medical expenses or lost wages if they become sick or get injured at work.
You can file a claim for workers’ compensation if you worked at least 52 hours for your employer within the 90-day period before your injury or illness and earned at least $100 within that period.
Report your illness or injury to your employer immediately. If you get treatment, notify the doctor that this is a work-related incident.
The California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is the state agency that oversees the delivery of benefits for injured workers and helps resolve disputes over benefits between injured workers and employers.
Call 1-800-736-7401 to hear recorded information on a variety of workers’ compensation topics 24 hours a day, or go online to www.dwc.ca.gov to find an office near you.
Domestic Workers have a right to paid sick leave.
You can use sick time if you get sick or injured; to care for an ill family member; to attend a medical appointment for you or a family member; or to get services or legal help if you are a victim of domestic violence, assault or stalking.
You earn 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked for your employer. You can begin using paid sick time after a period of 90 days from your employment start date. Your employer may limit your use of paid sick time per year to 24 hours or 3 days, whichever is more.
Domestic Workers have a right to be protected from harassment.
Your employer cannot sexually harass you. You also cannot be harassed because of your race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and/or disability.
Domestic workers have a right to be protected from retaliation by an employer for exercising their workplace rights or filing a complaint.
It is illegal for an employer to fire you, cut your hours, discipline you, or call immigration or the police on you for exercising your workplace rights.
If you file a complaint and it is deemed that you are entitled to back payments of minimum wage, if you are not paid by your employer, you are also protected from retaliation.
If you experience retaliation, your employer may be liable for any loss of pay and administrative penalties as a result of the retaliation. If you feel you have been retaliated against, please call (800) 593-8222 or file a Wage & Hour complaint online.
Please note that the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs has authority to investigate retaliation if there is a public health violation or exercise of rights under Title 11 of the County Code. Additionally, we have anti-retaliation provisions which DCBA can enforce for any violation of the County or Santa Monica Minimum Wage Ordinance. The anti-retaliation provision allow for fines, back wages, and reinstatement of employees to their previous position, if applicable.
Keeping records is key to defending your rights! It is important to keep records for days and hours worked, any breaks you took and wages paid as proof in case your rights are violated.
How do I file a complaint?
To file a complaint, please contact the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer & Business Affairs (DCBA) – Wage Enforcement Program at (800) 593-8222. You may also file a complaint online using DCBA’s eComplaint system.
For support or questions if your rights have been violated, call the California Domestic Workers Coalition at (415) 625-3124, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit cadomesticworkers.org/know-your-rights.
If you believe you have been the victim of human trafficking, you may also qualify for a T Visa. Your Office of Immigrant Affairs (800-593-8222) can provide more information about applying for the T Visa.
If you are in a trafficking situation and need assistance, you can call the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) hotline at (888) 539-2373 or text BeFree to 233-733 to request services. The hotline is available 24/7 and provides immediate, short-term services to ensure the safety and well-being of victims when they first escape their trafficking situation. CAST can assist you in reporting trafficking to law enforcement, but you are not required to make a report if you call the hotline.
CAST also provides vital social and legal services to trafficking survivors, including immigration services. You may also contact CAST to report a tip about a human trafficking situation even if you are not the victim.