Legislation that would give California’s domestic workers such as housekeepers and nannies overtime pay, rest periods and other state labor protections was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday for either a signature or a veto.

The legislation, Assembly Bill 889, went to Brown on a 42-27 vote along party lines. It’s sponsored by the California Domestic Workers Coalition and dozens of labor unions and civil rights groups and is being carried by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco.

Ammiano and other advocates said the legislation would protect domestic workers against exploitation and insisted that when the state Department of Industrial Relations adopts regulations to implement it, it would not be applied to teen-age babysitters and other casual workers.

Republicans, however, said that it would raise costs for parents and the elderly who depend on household help.

Supporters of a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights

Throughout the campaign, there was controversy amongst advocates for disability rights regarding the effects of the bill.  Objection #1 for private pay employers of home care attendants was the fear that some employers would not be able to afford to pay the increased benefits required by the bill.  There was also some concern that unintended consequences would occur to further harm private pay employers of lesser means.

Proponents of AB 889 point out that having hundreds of thousands of workers without a basic labor agreement is a major cause for the abuses, i.e. labor and pay violations, outright abuses and threats to personal dignity, suffered by home care workers.

During the last week of the session, a compromise was reached which struck most of the firm statutory language from the bill and replaced that with a framework agreement to require the Department of Industrial Relations to create a fair basic labor regulatory structure by January 1, 2014.

The California Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights was endorsed by the New York Times on August 10, 2012.

Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/08/california-assembly-oks-overtime-pay-rest-breaks-for-domestic-workers.html#disqus_thread#storylink=cpy



As the two-week Summer Olympics of 2012 comes to a conclusion, a ton of controversy was generated by the appearance of a single competitor from the Republic of South Africa by the name of Oscar Pistorius.  He will be remembered as one of the more compelling stories, alongside the likes of Michael Phelps, Team USA basketball and women’s soccer and the surge of the People’s Republic of China as the main competitor to the ongoing dominance of the USA.

Oscar Pistorius qualified for the semi-final in the Men’s 400 meter individual race before failing to make the finals.  He will return to the Olympic stage for the 4x400m relay before turning his attention to the Paralympic Games.  He was quoted as saying, “I didn’t come here to prove a point. I wanted to do the best I could do and push myself as hard as I can.”

But Pistorius, who runs on carbon-fiber blades because his legs were amputated below the knees as a child, isn’t the first “disabled” athlete to find success against “able-bodied” competitors. Heck, he isn’t even the first South African to do it.

How about this list?

Marla Runyan — The first legally blind athlete to compete in the Olympics, Runyan ran the 1,500 meters for the United States in 2000 and the 5,000 meters in 2004. She also finished fourth in the 2002 New York City Marathon and won the 2006 Twin Cities Marathon.

Monty Stratton — They made a movie about the Chicago White Sox All-Star who accidentally shot himself while hunting and lost his right leg above the knee in 1938. He never returned to the majors, but he pitched in the minor leagues till 1953 when he was 43 years old.

Sean Elliott — The former Tucson Cholla High and Arizona star was the first pro athlete to play after an organ transplant, returning to the San Antonio Spurs in 2000 less than seven months after receiving a kidney from his brother Noel.

Natalie du Toit — In the 2008 Beijing Games, the South African was the first disabled swimmer to compete in the Olympics and finished 16th in the 10,000-meter swim. Her left leg was amputated seven years earlier after she was hit by a car while riding her scooter.

Natalia Partyka — Born without a right hand or forearm, Partyka also competed in table tennis at the 2008 Beijing Games and represented Poland again in London this year.

Casey Martin — We all were reminded recently of his story when he qualified for the U.S. Open at age 40. Martin, now the golf coach at Oregon, was born with a congenital condition that weakened and atrophied his lower right leg, and he successfully sued the PGA Tour in 2001 clearing the way for him to use a cart while playing in tour events.

Jim Abbott — Born without a right hand, the left-handed pitcher not only made it to the major leagues, he fashioned a 10-year career and, in 1993, while with the Yankees, threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians.

Anthony Robles — Born without a right leg, Robles excelled at wrestling at Mesa High (Mesa, AZ), where he won a pair of state championships. Then at Arizona State he was a three-time conference champion and All-American, capping it all off with the 2011 NCAA championship.

Like Pistorius, there were those who questioned whether he had an advantage, evidently believing that without the weight of one leg he had more upper-body size and strength than opponents.  Never mind that he had to create a unique wrestling style to fit his body.

Tom Dempsey — Again like Pistorius, critics complained that the Saints kicker, who was born with no fingers on his right hand or toes on his right foot, had an unfair advantage when he booted a 63-yard field goal against the Lions in 1970 that has been equaled, but never surpassed in the NFL.

Dempsey, who wore a flat-toed shoe and kicked straight on, lasted 11 seasons in the NFL and made a Pro Bowl.  For an episode of “Sports Science,” ESPN analyzed the kick and the shoe and found that Dempsey actually might have been at a disadvantage.  No kidding.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/sports/heatindex/articles/2012/08/05/20120805south-africas-oscar-pistorius-follows-list-disabled-athletes-whove-thrived.html#ixzz22tflz8pM