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UCLA Report Finds One In Six Domestic Workers Under Min. Wage

iannis karydis / Flickr
 

iannis karydis / Flickr

A new report finds one in six house keepers, home care providers, and other domestic workers in California earn less than minimum wage.

UCLA researchers presented those findings at the state Capitol on Tuesday and told lawmakers that both domestic workers and their employers need assistance.

It’s one of the first in-depth looks in California at who’s hiring help at home.

"There’s this idea that it must be more affluent families who can afford to pay it, but actually it’s across the demographic spectrum," says Saba Waheed, research director at the UCLA Labor Center. "So low-income folks, high-income folks, moderate-income folks are hiring."

Over 40 percent of those hiring—especially for elder care or child care—are low-income themselves.

Waheed says there are no set standards for work hours or pay, so about half of employers make up the terms themselves. Pay for domestic workers fluctuates widely, from below minimum-wage to $50 an hour.

The report suggests that lawmakers increase spending on child and elder care, and strengthen labor protections.

Ben Bradford

State Government Reporter

As the State Government Reporter, Ben covers California politics, policy and the interaction between the two. He previously reported on local and state politics, business, energy, and environment for WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Read Full Bio