There is a bill currently being considered by the California Legislature that is one of the most insane, infuriating, and detrimental to working moms I've ever seen. Dubbed the babysitting bill, AB 889 would require families to provide nannies and sitters (anyone over 18 who cares for your child except one of your other children) with lunch and rest breaks, minimum wage, worker's compensation, paid vacation, and overtime pay. Families who fail to provide these things could be sued.
So pretty much forget ever going on a date night again, and as for us working moms -- we're totally screwed. Minimum wage, I get, and most people I know pay much more than $7.25 an hour for a sitter. But the rest of it is asinine and just another burden on women who work outside the home to support their families. It's not even good for the babysitters!
The rest breaks in particular are just ridiculous because that means someone else would have to come in and cover for their breaks every two hours. If you're a parent, you know how hard it is to find one good sitter, much less two; good luck finding one who's willing to work for 15 minutes at a time.
What are you thinking, California? As stupid as the bill is (and sorry, but I really can't think of a better word to describe it), it's moving forward. It's already passed the Assembly and is likely to be on the governor's desk soon. Unbelievable. Mary Poppins would so be against this.
I've been a babysitter and hired babysitters, and I know a lot about the job. It's difficult no doubt, and I cherish my good sitters. But babysitting isn't like an office job. The kids nap, they sleep at night, you can sit down and watch a movie with them from time to time, and even eat when they eat. I'm not diminishing the job at all. From the time I was 10, I babysat countless hours for countless years, and there were challenges for sure, but I have no idea what the hell I would have done if someone said, okay, it's time for your 15-minute break. It's not like I needed a cigarette or anything.
So hurry, book your sitters now, because soon you won't be able to afford them or figure out how to even logistically maneuver such mandates. Even if you don't live in California, you know once it's law there, it's only a matter of time before we're all stuck at home and babysitters can't find work -- who is this bill supposed to help?
Do you see any validity in this babysitting bill?
Image via Wendel F./Flickr