FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 8, 2024
CONTACT: Daniela Perez, dperez@domesticworkers.
Governor Phil Murphy’s signature marks a monumental achievement for the 50,000 domestic workers in the state.
NDWA Executive Director Jenn Stowe shakes hands with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy upon signing the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights into law. Senators Richard Codey (left) and Britnee Timberlake (right to Gov. Murphy) introduced the bill.
Trenton, NJ – The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is pleased to announce that New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the New Jersey Domestic Workers Bill of Rights into law today, Friday, Jan 12. This signature follows the landmark victory for labor rights with the New Jersey General Assembly passing the New Jersey Domestic Workers Bill of Rights on Monday, Jan. 8, marking a monumental achievement for the 50,000 domestic workers in the state. This significant legislation is a testament to the relentless efforts of domestic workers, advocates, and lawmakers to recognize and protect the rights of this critical workforce.
The bill, introduced by Senator Richard Codey and Senator Britnee Timberlake, encompasses a range of provisions to address long-standing inequities in the domestic work sector. These include establishing written agreements to document hours, wages, and duties; mandatory meal and rest breaks; and protection against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. The bill includes provisions to facilitate enforcement of domestic worker rights and educate workers and employers about the new law. Additionally, the bill ensures advance notice of termination and other protections for live-in workers, such as privacy and anti-trafficking safeguards.
“As we ring in the new year, today marks a special and transformative day for domestic workers in New Jersey. The New Jersey Domestic Workers Bill of Rights is more than just a piece of legislation; it’s a genuine show of respect for the dignity and invaluable work of domestic workers,” said Jenn Stowe, Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA). “We’re incredibly excited that Governor Phil Murphy’s signature has officially enacted the New Jersey Domestic Workers Bill of Rights into law, delivering equitable workplace protections for domestic workers, who make all other work possible. This is a huge win not just for domestic workers in New Jersey but also a ray of hope for domestic workers all over the country, who deserve to work with the protection, dignity, and respect they rightfully deserve. The passage of this bill is a testament to what can be achieved when organizers, domestic workers, and our partners come together to make historic change happen.”
Evelyn Saz, a previous home care worker and an NDWA home care organizer in New Jersey, shared, “As a home care worker and an organizer in New Jersey, today’s passage of the New Jersey Domestic Workers Bill of Rights fills me with immense pride and hope. This legislation is not just a legal document; it’s a testament to the strength and resilience of domestic workers who have long been undervalued and unprotected. My journey, from the challenges faced in El Salvador to the struggles as a home care worker in New Jersey, has shown me the importance of standing up for our rights and dignity.
“This bill is a critical step towards justice, not only for us in New Jersey but for domestic workers across the nation. We deserve to work with protections, dignity, and the respect we have rightfully earned. This victory is for all the domestic workers who have tirelessly cared for others while enduring injustices in silence. Today, we celebrate our collective strength and the brighter future that awaits us all,” Saz concluded.
New Jersey’s Domestic Workers Bill of Rights follows the precedent set by its neighbors in New York, the first state to pass such legislation. It mirrors similar bills in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and cities like Philadelphia and Washington, DC. The New Jersey Domestic Workers Bill of Rights represents a significant step forward in New Jersey’s commitment to protecting and empowering domestic workers, a workforce that has been historically overlooked.
As we celebrate this milestone, we also acknowledge the ongoing need for advocacy and action to ensure that all workers, regardless of occupation, are treated with respect and dignity. The passing of the New Jersey Domestic Workers Bill of Rights is not just a victory for domestic workers but a beacon of hope for labor rights across the nation.
For more information on the New Jersey Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, please visit domesticworkers.org.