July 2014 -- Victory! Governor Deval Patrick signed the Massachusetts Domestic Workers Bill of Rights into law, the fourth state in as many years. The Massachusetts Bill is the most forward-thinking bill of rights to date and sets the stage for even more comprehensive legislation in other states. The bill will protect workers and employers by requiring clear guidelines for employers and workers including: a written contract; 30 days notice of termination for live-in workers; and maternity leave for workers, among other protections. Congratulations, Massachusetts!
Domestic workers play a critical role in the Illinois economy, working to ensure the health and prosperity of Illinois families and freeing others to participate in the workforce. Despite the value of their work, domestic workers have historically been excluded from the protections under state law extended to workers in other industries. This has led to a workforce, predominantly composed of women supporting their own families, that is isolated and vulnerable.
Learn more about the Illinois Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, and how you can take action, at www.respectallwork.org
In June 2014, the Connecticut Legislature established a Domestic Workers Taskforce. This is a first crucial step towards winning comprehensive legislation to provide full and real dignity for domestic workers in the state of Connecticut.
Domestic workers play a critical role in Connecticut’s economy, working to ensure the health and prosperity of Connecticut families and freeing others to participate in the workforce. Despite the value of their work caring for children, elders and our homes, domestic workers have historically been excluded from the protections under state law extended to workers in other industries. This has led to a workforce, predominantly composed of women supporting their own families, that is isolated and vulnerable.
Victory! The California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights ends generations of exclusion from basic labor protections. The California Bill of Rights (AB 241) was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on September 26, 2013, and goes into effect January 1, 2014.
In 2013, Hawaii became the second state in the nation to enact a Domestic Worker Bill of Rights.
In Hawaii as of July, 1, 2013
Inspiring Victory for Domestic Workers! We Made History! New York becomes first state to recognize domestic workers
After six years of organizing by domestic workers together with unions, employers, clergy and community organizations, the New York State Legislature passed the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (A1470B/S2311E) on July 1, 2010. Domestic workers are finally recognized as real workers under the law!!
In September, 2013, the White House released new regulations and ended decades of homecare workers' exclusion from minimum wage and overtime protections.
First announced in December of 2011, the new regulations were put in place after almost two years of constant organizing by NDWA, Caring Across Generations, and allies across the country.
Domestic Workers win Global Recognition with the Adoption of the ILO Convention for Domestic Workers
On June 16, 2011, the 100th International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland adopted the First Convention and accompanying Recommendation on Decent Work for Domestic Workers. When the vote was announced, domestic workers unfurled a banner that read “C189: Congratulations! Now for the “domestic work” of governments- RATIFY.” Support for the Convention was overwhelming, with 396 voting in favor, and only 16 voting against (all employers), with an additional 63 abstaining. The Recommendation passed with 90% approval. Press Release »
Since then ten ILO members have ratified C189.
As a member of the International Domestic Workers Federation, the National Domestic Worker Alliance has been organizing with domestic workers around the world to win a strong ILO Convention with the standards and protections this workforce so desperately needs.
Organizing across generations and communities to bring dignity and value to the contributions of our nation’s aging population and the workforce who cares for them.
Every eight seconds, an American turns 65. In the coming years, more and more members of our communities will need care, just as more and more workers will need quality, dignified jobs. At a time when we desperately need new jobs, new paths to citizenship, and new solutions to persistent crises in care, a broad coalition of people from all walks of life are coming together to push for change.
Visit the Caring Across Generations campaign website to learn more about this exciting and necessary new campaign, share care stories, and take action.
We Belong Together is a campaign to mobilize women in support of common-sense immigration reform that will keep families together and empower women. Immigration reform is rarely thought of as a women’s issue, but in fact it is central to the fight for women’s equality. Millions of immigrant women who are part of the fabric of our communities, workplaces, and schools are blocked from achieving their full potential because of a broken immigration system. They perform essential jobs, like taking care of our children and our aging parents, and are central to family and community well-being.
Human trafficking is a violation of human rights.
"My employers held my passport, prevented me from leaving the home alone, and forced me to sleep in the room with the baby rather than having my own bed. They paid me far less than I was promised when I left my home country, they told me that immigration police would come arrest me if I tried to leave."
These are some of the most common things our member organizations have heard from domestic worker trafficking survivors over the years.
In 2013, NDWA along with our member anchor organizations who had already been active in human trafficking work, Damayan, Adhikaar, and Casa de Maryland, launched our Beyond Survival campaign to build survivor leadership and promote a community organizing approach to ending human trafficking. The campaign seeks to survivors of labor trafficking to become agents of change, bring their stories and voices into the main arenas of the trafficking debate that have historically been devoid of any discussion of workers’ rights, and develop a vision for transformative change.
We call our campaign "Beyond Survival," as an indication that we are ready to move beyond the narrative of victimization, and towards true transformation and survivor-led advocacy and policy change in the US and around the world.
#BeTheHelp We Need
We are thousands of domestic workers and our supporters who've come together to create respect and protections for the important work we do for families across America. In many cases, we stand shoulder to shoulder with our employers and the children and elders we care for, working together to change culture and policy so that domestic workers can gain basic rights, benefits and protections under our nation’s labor laws.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance is thrilled to be building a growing chapter of African American domestic workers in Atlanta. NDWA was founded in Atlanta in 2007, and Atlanta has been home to the domestic worker’s movement that we are building on – from the Atlanta washerwomen’s strike of 1881, led by the Washing Society; to the Atlanta-based National Domestic Workers Union of America in the 1960s and 70s led by Dorothy Bolden. We are excited and proud to deepen our organizing effort in Atlanta and the South!
Through our SOL initiative, the first two-year phase of which we recently completed, NDWA has conducted an intensive, transformative leadership development and organizational capacity-building process with approximately 75 domestic worker leaders and staff representing 25 NDWA affiliates, including 16 emerging organizations of domestic workers.
We launched the Get BIG! Basebuilding Innovation Group in the summer of 2013. Get BIG! is a bold program to help our affiiates grow to scale.