The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights would “ensure that protections and benefits give all domestic workers the respect and dignity they deserve,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) Executive Director Ai-jen Poo (pictured above from left to right) wrote in their op-ed for CNN.
The umbrella term domestic workers includes nannies, maids, and health aides who work in clients’ homes. Most, as stated in the op-ed, are women of color.
All domestic workers deserve dignity and respect. That's why @RepJayapal, @aijenpoo, and I will introduce the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which will close loopholes that will increase protections for domestic workers.https://t.co/DNmVoxbk8G
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 30, 2018
In 2013, the Economic Policy Institute‘s report found that approximately 25% of domestic workers earn an income that places them beneath the poverty threshold. Some states, however, have implemented laws to protect the workers. Eight states and the city of Seattle, reports Bustle, currently provide domestic workers protections and benefits, such as the rights to over-time pay and paid time-off.
The NDWA and the before-mentioned op-ed highlight that previous reforms and acts (the New Deal and the Civil Rights Act, for example) have failed to include domestic workers since workplaces with less than 15 employees were not required to abide by the rules. Though this leniency was to promote growth of small businesses, it exposed domestic workers to more risk, especially regarding wages and working conditions. The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights aims to increase the workers’ leverage by expanding protections and benefits beyond Seattle and the eight states.
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