This is an AWESOME Idea. I Want to Propose California Do Much More of This

Via Carpe Diem and a whole string of other sites:

"How will California parents react when they find out they will be expected to provide workers' compensation benefits, rest and meal breaks, and paid vacation time for…babysitters? Dinner and a movie night may soon become much more complicated.

California Assembly Bill 889 will require these protections for all “domestic employees,” including nannies, housekeepers and caregivers. The bill has already passed the Assembly and is quickly moving through the Senate with blanket support from the Democrat members that control both houses of the Legislature – and without the support of a single Republican member. Assuming the bill will easily clear its last couple of legislative hurdles, AB 889 will soon be on its way to the Governor's desk.

Under AB 889, household “employers” (aka “parents”) who hire a babysitter on a Friday night will be legally obligated to pay at least minimum wage to any sitter over the age of 18 (unless it is a family member), provide a substitute caregiver every two hours to cover rest and meal breaks, in addition to workers' compensation coverage, overtime pay, and a meticulously calculated timecard/paycheck.

Failure to abide by any of these provisions may result in a legal cause of action against the employer ("parents") including cumulative penalties, attorneys' fees, legal costs and expenses associated with hiring expert witnesses, an unprecedented measure of legal recourse provided no other class of workers – from agricultural laborers to garment manufacturers."

I know this is exactly the kind of thing you would expect me to oppose, but I have decided this is exactly the kind of thing California needs.  I am tired of average citizens passing crazy requirements on business without any concept of the costs and injustices they are proposing, and then scratch their head later wonder why job creation is stagnant.
I want to propose that California do MORE in this same vein.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Every household will have to register for a license to conduct any type of commerce, a license to occupy their house, and a license to hire any employees.  Homeowner will as a minimum have to register to withhold income taxes, pay social security taxes, pay unemployment insurance, pay disability insurance, and pay workers comp insurance.
  • Households should have to file a 1099 for every payment they make to contractors
  • All requirements of Obamacare must be followed for any household labor, including payment of penalties for even part-time labor for which the homeowner does not provide medical insurance
  • No alcohol may be purchased by any individual without first applying for and receiving a state liquor license
  • No cigarettes may be purchased by any individual without first applying for and receiving a state cigarette license
  • No over the counter drugs may be purchased by any individual without first applying for and receiving a state over the counter drug license
  • No eggs may be purchased by any individual without first applying for and receiving a state egg license
  • Any injuries of any type in the household must be reported to OSHA
  • Form EEO-1 must be filed once a year to catalog the race and gender of anyone who did any work in the home
  • Any time one has a dispute in court with another citizen or an employee, they will now be treated the same as businesses in California, which means that the presumption, irregardless of facts, will be strongly in favor of any employee and against the homeowner, and in favor of any other party in any dispute whose net worth is perceived by the jury as less than the homeowner's.
  • At least once a year the home's kitchen must be inspected and certified by both the fire marshal and the health department.  Any deficiencies must be immediately repaired before the kitchen can be used.  All code requirements for commercial kitchens will apply to household kitchens, including requirements for a three-basin washup sink, separate mop sink, and fire extinguishers
  • All homes will be inspected once per year for ADA compliance.  All parts of the home must be wheelchair accessible, even if there are currently no handicapped residents in residence.  Homes more than one-story tall will require an elevator.  All counters must be of the proper height, and all bathrooms must have ADA fixtures.
  • Each home will be required to prominently display all its required licenses as well as state and federal information posters for workers.
  • All homes will be audited at least once every three years to ensure that use taxes have been filed and paid on all out of state Internet purchases
  • Material Safety Data Sheets must be on file for all household cleaning products and other chemicals and available for inspection by the fire marshal
  • All gas tanks (car, lawnmower, portable 5-gallon) will be treated just like commercial gasoline storage tanks, and require monthly leak / loss reporting.  Annually, a complete spill prevention plan must be filed with the state.
  • A stormwater discharge plan must be filed annually with the state
  • Any dropped thermometer or CFL bulb will require homeholder to call out (and pay disposal costs) of a state hazmat team
  • Lifeguards are required at all home pools during daylight hours
  • Households should file property tax returns in the same way that businesses must, listing individually every single piece of personal property they own, from their car to their lawnmower to the pink flamingo in the front yard.
  • Homeowner must track the number of days any guests stay in their house so they can file and pay lodging taxes on a monthly basis
  • Any homeowner who hauls a boat or trailer on US highways must register with the Department of Transportation and receive a DOT number.  They must keep full driver logs and maintenance records available for DOT audit and inspection, and every driver must be drug-tested at least once per year.
  • All food on pantry shelves must meet all state labeling laws
  • At each entrance to the house, a sign warming those entering must be posted warning that certain cancer causing chemicals may be present

Finally, after spending the entire day complying with these rules, the homeowner must read at least 3 posts each day from progressive blogs explaining why anyone who complains about such rules as unreasonable is just a reactionary who doesn't really know how to run his business very well, and they could certainly do better.

Postscript:  Every single item on this list is something my company has been required to do.  I am sure I left a bunch out.


  1. Dan:

    This post just made my night. LOVE IT!

    And I sooo hope CA passes this law. Where do I send money to contribute to the cause? :-)

  2. pdb:

    I love this plan! I'm excited to be a part of it! Let's do it!

  3. el coronado:

    no can do, sorry. a list like that would hit women & minorities disproportionately hard. also, having to "fill out forms" in order to do stuff is discriminatory to, i mean "the literacy challenged" community.

    you people just don't understand fairness *at all*, do you? clearly, we need higher taxes to fund mandatory fairness-awareness indoctrination in the schools, all government offices, PSA's, etc etc. all with many many layers of administration and redundancy.

  4. rxc:

    Here in France there is a system for hiring temp workers in the home (and also if you have a small business) where the govt acts as the middleman for the payments. Once you decide on a wage to be paid (anything over the minimum), you report the hours paid each month to the state, and the state adds in all of the expected costs to cover vacations, social charges, etc, and sends you a bill for the expected amount. It( the state) then pays the employee directly.

    You might ask why a home or business might participate in this? Well, they drop some of the social charges for participants, and you can get a personal tax write-off on some of the others. Also, you know everything is being done according to the regulations.

    I don't think that they have gotten around to mandating the rest breaks for domestics workers, though - that is still assumed to be part of the employer/employee interaction. Although, I think that agricultural workers under this system do have other rights.

    I agree with Coyote that it would be great for the citizenry to see what business goes through in te way of regulation like this.

  5. Rod:

    AWESOME post! What a great idea. Equality and Fraternity for all! Rofl!

  6. a_random_guy:

    "Egg license"? That's a new one on me - I am shocked to see that they are required just about everywhere.


  7. Pangolin:

    Right-o. We'll just go back to treating immigrant nanny's and au-pairs as virtual and sometimes literal slaves. This law couldn't have anything to do with gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman's(R) abuse of her illegal immigrant housekeeper or former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's recently disclosed bastard sired on his housekeeper.

    Let's trash this kind of worker's rights and go back to the days of shtupping the upstairs maid every tuesday after giving her a good birching to set her right. If she protested there were always the workhouses.

    Jesus Wept.

  8. Xmas:


    How is Meg Whitman firing a worker that gave her a fake Social Security number "abuse"?

    And I don't see Arnie's former maid filing a sexual harassment suit...though, to be fair, she was protecting her son from discovering who his real father was.

    Besides, if the au pair is being abused, they can always shake their way out of the bad business relationship...

  9. Robert Spiegel:

    This is great. Every newspaper in the country should carry this.

  10. marco73:

    This ranks right up there with the fitted sheets and long handle toilet brush requirements for hotels. I almost wonder if these new regulations are not a bet between lobbyists, to demonstrate the most ludicrous laws they can get through the legislature.

    "Fitted sheets in hotels? That's nothing! I can make the legislature turn babysitters into employees!"

  11. morganovich:

    as a California refugee, i love the notion.

    one quibble:

    "irregardless"? really? Princeton huh? is that how they teach the tigers to speak these days?

  12. john:

    1. Perhaps you think you're joking, or that if all those regs were adopted the people promoting them would be appalled. I doubt it. There are a large number of people who take it as a given that more regulation is better. Period. You are describing a kind of utopia from their point of view. This is a very deep divide, your description here could be used as a kind of litmus test for social/political attitudes, much more revealing than any "left/right" divide. Sounds like heaven to some, hell to others.

    2. Don't you think it is likely that a company or group of companies is behind this push, hoping to provide a "product" in which they provide a baby sitter at a fixed price with all the paperwork done? Something similar to those companies which provide subcontracting arrangements to small business where all the employees of the business actually work for the sub who does nothing but pay them and do the paperwork? I don't know anything about the origin of the thing, but who benefits?

  13. gary valentine:

    Something I'd add to the list. I think homes should be subject to the same rates for utilities (phone, gas & electric) that businesses pay. For instance, in Ohio, most people have no idea that a business pays more than double the residential rate for phone and internet service. In addition, our gas and electric rates are a good 20% higher than residential consumers.

  14. el coronado:

    @ pangolin -

    you write a halfwit, hysterical, strawman-filled post, and not once do you mention nazis or slavery?!? tchah! (snorts in contempt & disgust) and you've got the nerve to call yourself a *troll*!

  15. TexEd:

    You are talking about democrat-socialists-criminals here. You've, therefore, left out a key consideration. There would have to be a provision for waivers and, if you're not a "friend," a provision for the sale of waivers.
    BTW, I went into a mini-mart place in San Diego and counted seven warning notices to customers on the glass around the door. Things like a warning to those with pacemakers about the microwave, etc.

  16. sch:

    I like the idea of imputed rent: the house you live in and pay mortgage on has a value as a rental house, imputed by the state
    authorities. Since you pay no rent, this is equivalent to income to the homeowner who is required to pay taxes on the imputed
    income. Actually done in some European countries, though unclear if in addition to or in lieu of property taxes.

  17. Pangolin:

    You offer a false dichotomy between passing the current laws or becoming a society where maids, babysitters and nannies are beaten and raped with impunity.

    A law dictating breaks every 2 hours would do nothing to protect against a person being raped and beaten.

    Laws against assault and rape are the types of laws that protect against those abuses.

    Laws of those nature are already on the books.

    If this law were going to protect people from being beaten and raped by the parents that employ them, I think it was a huge oversight to only apply it to workers over the age of 18. Does this mean that the people that wrote the bill don't care about the enslavement, rape and assault of children? If I were to use your logic, that would be the case.

  18. Jessica Rudder:

    My apologies. I was not paying attention when I filled out the form.

    The August 31, 2011, 8:25am comment was a response to Pangolin. It was not a comment made by Pangolin.

    Today I fail at web forms!


  19. Wire:

    Pay workers minimum wage? What a terrible proposal!

  20. ErisGuy:

    "I want to propose that California do MORE in this same vein."

    Bravo. The states are the laboratories of Progressivism. Bring it on! If only Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, etc. would also pass such laws. They want. I want it. It's win-win. And another East/West (Germany) and North/South (Korea) experiment. Since Progressives didn't learn the first two times, a third time is on order.

  21. NL_:

    You forgot to add that the Health department should inspect the pantry and kitchen of all homes, and that every home needs to install a three-basin sink to soak, rinse, and sterilize. Also, the garbage cans need to sit behind a privacy fence.

    " any sitter over the age of 18..."

    In unrelated news from the future, every babysitter in California is now under the age of 18.

  22. Joe:

    Isn't there usually a lower limit in terms of business size for this sort of reporting? I know Obamacare doesn't apply unless you're above a certain number of workers.

  23. ElamBend:

    Every time I think California can't out do itself, it does. The wealthy can easily comply with these onerous rules, the poor and middle class cannot.

    The real result of this is that the poor and middle class will have to break the law to survive, further raising their cost to live in the state and expanding the grey/black economy. Also, this we end up contracting one more type of informal work that was available to women when they needed to make a little extra money.

    I'm sure the formal daycare industry had nothing to do with this.

    I used to call California Italy on the Pacific, but they way it is regulating the middle class into poverty, Egypt is probably a more apt moniker.

  24. Old Soldier:

    People will respond the way they always do to ridiculous laws - they will completely ignore them.

    The state will use the laws the way tyrants always do - with selective enforcement to punish those who question their authority.

    Sound overblown? Google Gibson Guitar. Their CEO had the gall to contribute to a Republican - now they are being raided again for possible violations of similarly ridiculous laws and regulations.

  25. smurfy:

    Are you aware California now requires fire sprinklers for new residential development? Single family homes, not just apartment blocks. I keep expecting them to jump the regulatory shark, but America's Next Top Model is in it's 17th season so I don't know if it's worth holding out any hope.

  26. Doug:

    @wire: Let's get minimum wage off the table once and for all. I propose a minimum wage of $125/hour, which would be an annual wage of $250k, thus qualifying everyone in the country to be considered "rich" by the current regime, entitling everyone to pay more taxes to create a healthy, robust, government-run economy. Utopia, I found it!

  27. oct:

    Whitman firing the housekeeper was not the abuse. The abuse was supposedly that (among a couple other things) some of her wages and work expenses went completely unpaid.

    As for the social security number, there was evidence (a hand written note by the husband on a letter notifying them of the issue) proving that the Whitmans knew from at least 2003 (she was employed from 2000 to 2009) that Santillan's SS number did not match her name.

    As to the legislative matter at hand, it certainly needs work, which I'm sure it'll get due to the press this is getting.

  28. caseyboy:

    Wow, this tops the "fitted sheets" by a bunch. When will the citizens of CA reach the tipping point? Can we turn the state over to Mexico? No offense to anyone from CA who is posting on this site, but we have to get some separation from the madness.

  29. astonerii:

    Your post made quite a bit of sense, until you started listing all the licenses home owners should have to buy things from people who already have those licenses in order to sell. Now, if instead you mean if they are throwing parties and having non-family guests over for smokes and drinks, I might be willing to imagine you have a point.

  30. Gil:

    It's a funny thought, but inflicting this stuff on more innocent victims is really bad thing to do.

  31. John David Galt:

    @Gary Valentine: There is a good reason that phone and internet services charge businesses more. Most of their cost is capital equipment, which has to be built to meet peak demand, which happens during the business day.

    But there isn't any good reason for the overregulations Coyote lists. Most of them were bought and paid for by lobbyists working for large firms that want to prevent competition. And if the trend isn't stopped, we will soon be another banana republic, where nearly all businesses are under-the-table and no one is secure in his livelihood. The nanny-statists who support these measures really ought to live in South America for a decade or two and see what it's like before they do that to America.

  32. ScottH:

    It's not enough: houses need to be reclassified from Residential to Commercial and refitted to commercial building code standards. Think of all the inspection and enforcement jobs that will be created!

  33. KB:

    So for once, "she told me she was 17!" will be an acceptable defense....

  34. markm:

    rxc: So French casual laborers have to wait one to two months for their pay? Do they collect welfare to stay alive while waiting?

    And that's assuming that the agency doesn't have the problems that are commonplace with an agency here in Michigan that is supposed to similarly be a middleman between payer and payee. Friend of the Court is an agency that collects child support payments from the noncustodial parent (AKA "father"), and sends them to the custodial parent (AKA "mother"). This is supposed to ensure that accurate records are kept of the payments, and missing payments are promptly referred to court. But I haven't yet met a divorcee whose child support goes through that agency that is happy with it - if their ex pays at all, usually it came through faster and more reliably when the ex could just mail the checks to her. Payments disappear into the agency, and sit around weeks to months before being forwarded on - if they didn't lose the paperwork and if no employee embezzled the cash...

  35. Not Sure:

    "Pay workers minimum wage? What a terrible proposal!" - Wire

    Minimum wage laws make it more difficult to employ people. Do you hate the poor?

  36. MattF:

    You're pretty much an idiot if you don't see the difference between a household and a business, if you don't see the difference between purchasing items tax-free for resale and a purchase made when taxes are due; if you don't see the difference between foodservice for oneself and foodservice for others; if you don't see the difference between maintaining a non-discriminatory workplace and a home of family members.

    Oh right, you're a libertarian. Facts have no place in your arguments.

  37. Not Sure:

    "if you don’t see the difference between foodservice for oneself and foodservice for others"

    Exactly. The hamburger a mom makes for her child is completely different from the one made for that kid at a hamburger stand.

    After all, nobody has ever gotten food poisoning eating at home, have they?

  38. astonerii:

    Not Sure:

    The libertarian argument would be that if the restaurant made enough people sick, it would go out of business and a better owner would do a better job. No need for regulations.

  39. J. W.:

    MattF: Presumably, there's a difference between your arbitrary distinctions and facts. If I have a wine-tasting party at my house, a visitor really likes a sample, and I sell him a box of wine, should I be required to have a license? After all, there isn't much that is different from this sale and a sale at a winery.

    If the answer is yes, then other, similar examples can likewise justify much of the list in the original post. If the answer is no, then I would like to know precisely what it is, in the realm of "facts" to which you refer, that renders the "no" so obvious that only idiots can't figure it out. Remember, though, that if you simply refer to distinctions contained in existing laws, then you still haven't contradicted the reductio in the original post, which involves changes in the law.

  40. Not Sure:

    I don't think you have to be a libertarian to make the argument that a restaurant that makes its customers sick is likely to go out of business.

  41. Sera:

    You'll need a food court/restaurant permit and at least three sinks for sanitary reasons. An inspector will come to your home and find something wrong, every time.

  42. Mel u:

    "No over the counter drugs may be purchased by any individual without first applying for and receiving a state over the counter drug license"-this should be changed to -no over the counter drugs may be given to a family member unless the giver is a licensed pharmacist or physician

    all living groups (once called families) must be racially balanced-those families all of one ethnic background will be resorted into other households to achieve the proper mix of living groups-the formula to be determined by tenured professors at the London School of Economics

    Just as one must submit a flight plan now for a trip by plan, one must now submit an automobile trip plan two days in advance of any planned trips to the department of motor vehicles-failure to comply can result in loss of vehicle

    as it has been shown that requiring literacy for teachers is discriminatory in favor of legal residents, this shall no longer be a requirement for a teaching position

  43. Rocco:

    Of course you oppose this, Coyote. We all know you're just a shill for "Big Babysitter".

  44. steve:

    LOL, I can hear all the babysitters now.

    House wife: I am not sure how to get you your two
    hour break.
    Babysitter: No problem mamm, I will just invite my
    boyfriend over.

    Teenagers having sex on your couch. Problem solved.

  45. Pete:

    While we are having fun with this should the state of California provide protection for parents guaranteeing them 15 minute breaks with relief help for every 4 hours the parents have to watch the kids? Plus workmans comp should automatically cover every parent. From the moment of birth or inception I guess becomes the question. After all when do the parents actually start working? Don't worry about the money I'm sure there is someone left to tax in that state.

  46. astonerii:

    "Not Sure:

    I don’t think you have to be a libertarian to make the argument that a restaurant that makes its customers sick is likely to go out of business.
    August 31, 2011, 9:03 pm"
    But, the liberals will require regulation. I think some, but not all conservatives would consider the fact that the business would go under enough to not require some level of at least minor regulation to verify some things. I am on the (gasp) libertarian side of this one. Consumers are smart enough to buy what they are comfortable buying and able to get information on whether a business is worth buying from.

  47. steve:


    Don't forget most libertarians would say those sick customers would have a right to sue for damages. Although, libertarians have a restricted sense of damages compared to liberals.

    In a libertarian system, if they just get an upset tummy and puke I suppose they might only get their money back by suing. But, if the restaraunt is putting many customers in the hospital, they would go out of business pretty quick just from paying hospital bills and lawyer fees. A single death positively tied to a restaraunt would probably put them out of business unless their insurance would pay for it.

    It has also been argued by many Libertarians that in a world without governmnet regulations the insurance companies would basically become regulators. In other words, the insurance company wouldn't sell insurance to a restaraunt unless they were allowed to periodically inspect it for problems. After all, the insurance companies don't want to pay claims so they would try not to insure unsafe restaraunts. Just like they don't want to insure unsafe drivers.

    They currently have no need for such inspections because they know the government performs them.

  48. Nancy:

    Yahoo! I'm never leaving California now! I can't wait til they include 'Pet Sitters'too! (not)

  49. astonerii:


    Nice write up. It all sounds plausible and likely to turn out that way.

  50. Sam L.:

    All illegal alien babysitters all the time--no paperwork, no problem!


    Whitman firing the housekeeper was not the abuse. The abuse was supposedly that (among a couple other things) some of her wages and work expenses went completely unpaid.

    As for the social security number, there was evidence (a hand written note by the husband on a letter notifying them of the issue) proving that the Whitmans knew from at least 2003 (she was employed from 2000 to 2009) that Santillan’s SS number did not match her name."

    My recollection is that they found that out, notified the authorities, and were told not to worry about it. No Problemo!