OK, who didn't tear up when Octavia Spencer won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for "The Help." The well-deserved standing ovation. Brad and Angie proudly beaming at her. The emotional acceptance speech. Calling her Oscar "The hottest guy in the room." The shout out to her home state of Alabama. And of course thanking the "world." Haha!
"I think people realize that we have much work to do in our country," said Octavia earlier today on "Good Morning America" about the film's themes such as race relations and women's issues. We couldn't agree more with her. Surprisingly, she's only the sixth black woman to win an Academy Award for acting. Also, did you know that domestic workers have been excluded from basic labor protections for over 70 years?! Someone needs to send the senate one of Minnie Jackson's chocolate pie.
Across the country, 2.5 million childcare providers, caregivers and housekeepers (mostly women) don't have minimum wage requirements, don't get paid overtime (and they're always working overtime) or get sick and vacation pay. This issue hits close to home for me. My mom, worked backbreaking hours as a housekeeper when I was a child, working by the hour with no benefits for herself or her children. She's currently a nanny and thankfully, receives benefits such as vacation pay. However, mom is in the minority. It's rare to find a housekeeper or nanny with the same benefits as her.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) (channeling a modern-day Skeeter Phelan) is trying to make a difference for domestic workers. You see, NDWA needs your signature (it just takes a second) to pass the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (AB889). The bill will would provide domestic workers:
+Equal overtime pay.
+Equal right to worker’s compensation.
+Equal right to reporting time pay.
+Right to 8 hours uninterrupted sleep under adequate conditions.
+Right to cook one’s own food. (Seriously, a lot of domestic workers are forced to work without a break or to eat food they don't like.)
All you have to do is sign this Change.org petition which is close to reaching 7,500 signatures. International Domestic Worker's Day is on March 30 so what better way to honor this day (and hardworking people without benefits they deserve) than signing the petition?! Skeeter, Minny and Aibileen would be proud of you. And so would my mom.
Be the help. Sign the petition
Sign the petition to help pass the CA Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which will help provide equality for thousands of Californians.
#BeTheHelp on Twitter
Spread the message on Twitter to protect domestic workers by clicking on the link below.