Who We Are
Founded in 2007, the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is the nation’s leading voice for the millions of domestic workers in the United States, most of whom are women. NDWA is powered by 39 local, membership-based affiliate organizations of over 10,000 nannies, housekeepers and caregivers for the elderly located in 14 states, plus the District of Columbia. NDWA is supported by domestic workers, employers and our family -- supporters and allies like you.
Domestic workers care for the things we value the most: our families and our homes. They care for our children, provide essential support for seniors and people with disabilities to live with dignity at home, and perform the domestic work that makes all other work possible. They are skilled and caring professionals, but for many years, they have labored in the shadows, and their work has not been valued. Many domestic workers continue to provide essential services to their employers nation-wide without access to basic labor protections like minimum wage or overtime pay.
In the 1930s, the National Labor Relations Act was passed to protect the rights of most workers in the United States. In a concession to Southern lawmakers hoping to maintain slavery-era work conditions for African Americans, domestic workers and farmworkers where deliberately excluded from these laws and the protections they offered. Many of these exclusions remain in effect today. As a result, domestic workers are one of the most vulnerable workforces in the nation, working without the benefit of core labor standards or basic employment protections. But we are changing this.
In 2010, after a 6-year grassroots campaign, the Governor of New York signed into the law the Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights — the first state law to ensure basic labor protections for domestic workers.
In 2011, domestic workers moved a California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights through the Assembly and will move it through the Senate in early 2012. Also in July 2011, NDWA launched Caring Across Generations, a large-scale national campaign that addresses the working conditions of people providing direct care to our nation’s elderly and people with disabilities, while also creating avenues that will drastically improve the quality of life for both care givers and their clients.
Domestic work is the work that makes all other work possible. Together we can win the protections and recognition that this vital American workforce needs.