Photo: Gov Brown Urged on Domestic Workers Bill of Rights
A Guatemalan woman’s case is being presented by immigrants’ rights defense organizations as an example of the need for the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights to become law.
Patricia Lopez, 37, was employed for more than five years as a domestic worker, babysitter, cook, housekeeper and even gardener by a professor at California State University, Northridge.
She was always paid in cash and did not accrue time off or vacation time.
In January, she says, a 7-year-old boy under her care - bothered because she did not let him play because it was time to go to school - made her fall down the stairs from the second floor of the house and she hit her head and lost consciousness.
As a result of the accident, she has frequently needed a wheelchair, suffers from nausea, vomiting, headaches and numbness in her arms and legs, Lopez told Efe.
“According to what the doctor told me, I hurt my spine and if I have an operation I only have a 35 percent chance of recovering,” said Lopez, who has no medical insurance and faces more than $90,000 in medical bills.
Her employer, David T. Russell, not only has not apologized for the child’s act but has also refused to verify the time she worked.
“Patricia’s case shows that thousands of workers in California are being subjected to modern-day slavery,” said Jorge-Mario Cabrera, the communications director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, which is assisting Lopez.
He invited the Hispanic community to a demonstration to be held on Sept. 29 at which Gov. Jerry Brown will be asked to sign the bill protecting the rights of domestic workers.