"Outside the Traditional Workforce"

Do you employ a cleaner in your home? A nanny, or caretaker? Have you worked, or do you currently work, in home care? This fall, our Acting for Economic Justice Committee takes on the issue of domestic workers’ rights and the fight for a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in Massachusetts.

According to the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), “Domestic workers have been viewed as outside of the traditional workforce, largely because most domestic workers are women, often immigrants, doing the work historically done by housewives and servants.... As a result of the lack of state and federal regulation, domestic workers are often taken advantage of by their employers and are in dire need of protection.”

California, New York and Hawaii have all passed the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, and it’s our turn here in MA to join the fight!

Here’s a description of the benefits of the Bill of Rights from the NDWA:

  • For Workers: Establishes labor standards that protect domestic workers’ basic workplace rights, including meal and rest breaks, clarity on what constitutes working time, sick time to care for themselves and their families, and freedom from discrimination and sexual harassment.
  • For Employers: Ensures that employers receive the highest quality of care for their families and homes by affording domestic workers dignity and respect. Reduces turnover by providing greater stability for workers, and improves the health and safety of employers and their families by protecting domestic workers’ health.
  • For the Commonwealth: Provides domestic workers with safe and dignified work environments and employers with clear guidelines on their responsibilities that will bring domestic workers out of the shadows. Protecting domestic workers also protects the safety of our communities, ensures the health and well-being of the families of domestic workers, and strengthens the state economy by freeing up more individuals to participate in the paid workforce.

Want to get involved? Join the Acting for Economic Justice Committee at 7pm on October 17 to hear stories from domestic workers and explore what responsibility we have as a community to this issue.