Are you a domestic worker?
Find resources about your rights, how you can stay safe while on the job, and labor rights updates.
Do you employ a domestic worker?
Learn how to make your home a safe, fair, and equitable workplace for you and your employee.
Ready to get involved?
Join the Domestic Workers Council to discuss your experiences and how to create change.
There are 32,000 domestic workers in Seattle, working as housecleaners, nannies, gardeners, and home caregivers. Yet, domestic workers were not historically covered by our most basic labor laws and were often left with few options when facing wage theft or sexual harassment in the workplace. Experts on labor law call these exclusions a “holdover from slavery.” In practice, they create workplaces ripe for abuse and discrimination.
The result for many domestic workers is an appallingly high level of economic instability, even if they’re working forty hours a week. According to a report from the University of Illinois at Chicago, 23% of domestic workers are unable to save any money for the future; 20% of workers do not always have sufficient food in their own homes; 40% of workers are forced to occasionally pay essential bills late, and 60% of workers spend more than half of their income on rent or mortgage payments.
Domestic Workers Ordinance
The Domestic Workers Ordinance also referred to as “The Domestic Bill of Rights” was signed into law on July 27th, 2018. The ordinance provides basic rights to domestic workers in Seattle such as:
1. A Seattle minimum wage requirement.
2. Uninterrupted meal and rest periods, including financial compensation if responsibilities require working without breaks.
3. A one-day (24 hours) off in a seven-day period for workers that reside where they are employed.
4. Prohibits employers from confiscating the documents or other personal effects of their workers.
5. Institutes a Domestic Workers Standards Board to establish further guidelines.
Want to learn more? Read the full ordinance here
The ordinance will end the exclusion of nannies and housecleaners from basic workers’ rights laws. It also establishes a pioneering Domestic Workers Standards Board where workers and employers collaborate to establish industry standards on wages, benefits, training, and more. As the first city to have passed such a law, Seattle is setting a powerful and historic precedent for domestic workers across the country.
Casa Latina is proud to partner with the Seattle Office of Labor Standards (OLS) to provide outreach and education about Seattle’s labor standards. If you would like to learn more about OLS please contact OLS at (206)256-5297 or visit the OLS website at www.seattle.gov/laborstandards.
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