In a move that is making even me ponder if California is beyond salvation from the regulatory ilk forced on us by Bay Area politicians, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) has introduced Bill 889
, intended to create "protections" for all domestic employees-- that is, everyone from a nanny and elderly caregiver to the babysitter and house-sitters. Yes, that is right. If this bill passes the California legislature, it would mandate that parents who ask the babysitter to come over on a Friday night will be obligated to pay at least minimum wage, ensure that they have meal breaks and rest times, and receive overtime pay and workers' compensation coverage. The original bill also mandated paid vacation time for every 30 hours worked, but the Senate--in a brief fit of wisdom--amended that out of the bill.
This is insanity. Why is Mr. Ammiano so intent on ridding us of the days when someone could hand twenty bucks to a person they trusted enough to watch their home or children, tell them to help themselves to anything in the fridge, explain how the remote control works, and leave it at that? If someone thinks that they aren't being paid enough to watch some kids or clean a toilet, then they just won't do it. This forced regulation of people's care-taking of their homes and families
is only going to end up hurting the housekeepers, babysitters, and nannies in the long-run, as people will not want to go through the hassle of dealing with such a complex and absurd system. The government should trust people to make the right decisions about who they give their parental or homely powers to, and should trust other people to realize that "Hey, if this kid bites me every time I come over, I should either charge more or just not do it." If 889 passes, then it seems California will have quite literally become a nanny state.