They clean our homes, take care of our kids, watch over the elderly and disabled, and more. They are domestic workers, and even though they provide services and care that many in the U.S. could not live without, we pay them back with essentially zero protections, skant rights, and meager pay.
Sign the petition and demand that Congress pass a law that would finally create and protect rights for domestic workers!
Domestic workers cover a wide range of completely vital but extremely taxing jobs in the United States. The nanny or babysitter who feeds, bathes, watches over, and nurtures your children is a domestic worker. The maid who washes your dishes, does your laundry, and cleans your house so you can spend time with your family or at your job is a domestic worker. The private nurse who comes to help when a family member becomes disabled or is too old to care for themselves is a domestic worker. The yard worker who keeps your home lovely and your property safe for kids and pets is a domestic worker. They do grueling physical and emotional work for us, often laboring long hours and becoming intimately acquainted with our families and lives. But the care that they need in return, like workplace protections and financial safeguards, is being withheld from them!
Even though they do work that is arguably harder than most office jobs in the United States, domestic workers don't get the same protections. They are not included in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 -- this means that they are not necessarily entitled to things like the national minimum wage, nor overtime pay, or protections against child labor. These folks aren't included in the Occupational Health and Safety Act coverage -- their employers are literally not required to make sure they are in safe and healthy conditions that so many of us take for granted. They can't unionize. They aren't legally protected from physical or sexual abuse. All the things most workers take for granted, domestic workers are forced to get by without.
Every single human being deserves their basic human rights to be protected in the workplace. But what makes things even worse is that the nearly 2 million domestic workers being exploited in the U.S. are mainly people of color, an already marginalized and vulnerable group. They are folks who are caring for other families but often have kids of their own, many of them single mothers. No one needs protected working conditions, benefits, and good pay more than these workers, and yet they are one of the only groups being left behind by the United States' labor laws.
Domestic workers are the backbone of this country. It's about time we treated them with basic respect and decency by protecting and compensating them properly at work! Sign the petition demanding that Congress introduce and pass a law that would create a National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights!