Received this e-mail today from CREDO Action:
They clean houses. Care for seniors. Nurse the sick. Raise children. But the reward for the hard work of our nation's more than 2 million domestic workers is low wages, harassment, unsafe work conditions, discrimination and even abuse.1
Eight states already have laws on the books protecting domestic workers, but being protected should not depend on where you live. That's why progressive champions Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Sen. Kamala Harris, working with our friends at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, plan to introduce the Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights as soon as the next Congress meets in January.2
We need to make sure that women, people of color and low-income workers are at the top of the Democratic agenda come January – which means speaking up right now while leaders are setting priorities.
Domestic workers often make less than the minimum wage and rarely get healthcare coverage or any sort of retirement plan. Without protection, their employers can hurl racial slurs or abuse, force them to work odd hours without breaks or sick days and refuse to protect their safety.3
The Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights helps in two ways. First, it would extend labor laws to domestic workers. They would get Occupational Safety and Health Administration protections, help in cases of discrimination or harassment, the right to overtime pay, and the ability to form unions.4
Second, the bill would extend essential new protections – like retirement savings, affordable health care, training and development and the right to meal breaks, rest breaks, paid sick days, federal agency protections, contracts on paper, privacy and knowledge about their schedules in advance. These powerful protections could set a new standard for all contingent workers, from Amazon warehouse “contractors” to ride-share drivers.5
Because domestic workers are exempt from basic labor laws, they are a target for abuse and exploitation. And because they are predominantly women of color in a white supremacist society they have a hard time getting the attention and help they deserve. The Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights must be at the top of Congress's list of priorities in January.
Tell Congress: Pass the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Click the link below to sign the petition:
Thank you for speaking out.
Heidi Hess, Co-Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
- Bryce Covert, “The New Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Would Remedy Decades of Injustice,” The Nation, Nov. 29, 2018.
- Ai-jen Poo, Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Sen. Kamala Harris, “Change begins at home — and on the floor of Congress,” Nov. 29, 2018.
- Covert, “The New Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Would Remedy Decades of Injustice.”