Ahh, babysitting: That rite of passage in which you get paid $3 an hour to take care of kids with no breaks, paid vacation, or worker’s comp. All that could soon change, however, if an Assembly bill quickly making its way through the California legislature becomes law. The measure, which could soon be on the governor’s desk, would require parents to provide all those benefits—and pay at least minimum wage, plus overtime—to all “domestic employees,” including babysitters. In order to provide the breaks, a substitute caregiver must be brought in every two hours.
One caveat that should comfort harried parents a bit: The requirements would only apply to babysitters over the age of 18, and only if they are not family members—so getting free labor from your teenage kid is still totally fine. The bill would require the same benefits be extended to housekeepers and caregivers as well, and failure to abide by the rules could result in legal action. Ultimately, writes Republican State Sen. Doug LaMalfa in The Union, “AB 889 [is] a terrible bill that needs to be stopped.”