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.
In July of 2015, the state of Connecticut took a giant first step forward for domestic workers in their state when Governor Malloy signed the Connecitcut Domestic Worker Bill.
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.
The Oregon Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights corrects an historic wrong by including domestic workers in the basic labor laws afforded most other workers. Domestic workers were intentionally excluded from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as a concession to Southern politicians in the early 1900’s. This exclusion was mirrored on the state level, creating an unregulated and underground economy that left the state’s approximate 10,000 domestic workers subject to widespread mistreatment and abuse.
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!
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
Labor of Love: New York Domestic Worker Convention
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Inspiring Victory for Domestic Workers! We Made History! New York becomes first state to recognize domestic workers
Every day across our nation, almost two million home care workers support the independence of people with disabilities and seniors.
Yet in many states, home care workers are paid less than minimum wage and denied overtime pay.
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.
The nature of work is changing and it’s changing the way that domestic workers find work, relate to their employers, and get paid. With the click of a button, employers can hire a house cleaner with little knowledge as to whether that worker has predictable hours, makes a living wage or is entitled to basic labor protections.
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.
#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.
Nannies, Housekeepers and Homecare Workers are organizing for better pay, and for dignity and respect in the workplace. As the Atlanta Chapter of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, we are building power through leadership development, strategic campaigns and alliance building. Our campaigns include minimum wage and overtime for homecare workers, a $15 federal minimum wage, and Medicaid Expansion in Georgia. We offer regular job skills and know-your-rights trainings, and a Health Referral Program for members.
The Dorothy Bolden Fellowship is a new program of the National Domestic Workers Alliance inspired by Ai-jen Poo’s MacArthur Foundation Fellowship award in 2014. The MacArthur Fellowship award was a tremendous honor, recognizing the important role domestic workers and caregivers play in shaping the growing movement for equity and democracy in America. The funds from the MacArthur Fellowship will be used to to support the continuous development of new leaders among domestic workers and caregivers for our movement to strengthen this work and its impact.
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 Dream In Black aims to strengthen and expand our base of Black domestic workers and amplify their historical and current contributions to the broader domestic worker movement. Given the legacy of Black women in domestic work, and the ongoing ways in which race shapes the conditions and experiences of workers, NDWA has prioritized building strong organizing projects rooted in Black communities.