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National Domestic Workers Alliance Honors International Domestic Workers Day, Celebrates Progress, Acknowledges Path Ahead

New York, NY – This week, the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), the leading voice for dignity and fairness for millions of care and domestic workers across the country, recognizes International Domestic Workers Day on June 16 and Juneteenth on June 19 through nationwide celebrations and critical activations. These events honor domestic workers’ significant contributions and ongoing struggles in the United States.

June 16, International Domestic Workers Day, marks the anniversary of the 2011 passage of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 189 for Decent Work for Domestic Workers, establishing an international labor framework for domestic workers. Since its passage, domestic workers have used this day to honor the leadership and resilience of domestic workers globally. As an organization representing nearly 2.2 million nannies, housecleaners, and direct care workers across the United States and as members of the International Domestic Workers Federation, NDWA is proud to continue to fight for increased protections at all levels.

Below is a statement from Jenn Stowe, Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance:

“As we come together to honor International Domestic Workers Day just days before Juneteenth, we recognize the profound connection between these two pivotal milestones. Juneteenth symbolizes freedom and emancipation, while International Domestic Workers Day symbolizes the fight for recognition and justice, highlighting the resilience and strength of the Black community and domestic workers. The recent reintroduction of the Federal Domestic Worker Bill of Rights marks another monumental step forward for nannies, housecleaners, and care workers who have fought tirelessly for generations to be included in federal labor protections. Despite significant progress, too many domestic workers in the U.S. still lack basic labor rights and protections, a reality we can no longer accept.

On International Domestic Workers Day and Juneteenth we reflect on our past and illuminate our present, reminding us of those who came before and the ongoing work we must do. In that vein, we honor the remarkable legacy of Black domestic workers, who birthed the modern Domestic Workers movement with their unwavering dedication, paving the way for progress and inspiring our future. We also lift up the millions of domestic workers worldwide and celebrate the leadership of the women who have fought for the multi-racial democracy we all deserve.”

This past weekend’s activities in New York, Miami, and Macon highlighted NDWA’s collective strength and the ongoing fight for domestic workers’ rights. From New York’s proclamation honoring Dorothy Bolden to the powerful assembly in Miami-Dade demanding a county-wide Domestic Worker Bill of Rights and the vibrant celebration in Macon featuring a new mural honoring care workers, NDWA’s events underscored the need for continued advocacy and legislative action.

Domestic workers, including nannies, housecleaners, and direct care workers, face significant challenges, including lacking necessary safeguards, fair wages, and the benefits they deserve. The statistics paint a stark reality: domestic workers are three times more likely to live in poverty than other workers, enduring employment insecurity and retaliation far too often. Today, NDWA  renews our commitment to growing the domestic worker movement with activations across the country highlighting the need for protection under a Federal Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, ensuring that all workers receive the protections they deserve and that these rights are enforced without exception.

NDWA’s recent legislative victories, including the passage of Home-and Community-Based Services (HCBS) bills in Georgia and Maryland, have created pathways for care worker raises and wage transparency. These successes align with our broader national efforts to bolster the Medicaid-funded direct care workforce and enhance overall care infrastructure. By increasing state and federal funding for HCBS, we aim to alleviate workforce shortages, improve wages, and implement strategies to stabilize and elevate the care workforce nationally.

In observance of these critical days, NDWA chapters and affiliates organized activations nationwide to raise awareness and strengthen protections for domestic workers. Below are some of the key events that took place:

U.S. Congress Reintroduces Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

On Thursday, June 13, the Federal Domestic Worker Bill of Rights was reintroduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Ben Ray Luján, Representative Pramila Jayapal, and Representative Jennifer McClellan. This legislation aims to extend crucial workplace protections to domestic workers across the United States, ensuring their work is recognized with the respect, dignity, and recognition it deserves. The bill addresses critical gaps in the current labor protection framework, offering comprehensive measures to secure the rights of domestic workers, including extending access to common workplace protections, introducing new protections tailored to the unique circumstances of domestic work, and stronger enforcement mechanisms.

Rhode Island General Assembly Approves Bill To End Minimum Wage Exemption For Domestic Workers

In addition to the reintroduction of the Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights on June 13, the Rhode Island General Assembly approved a bill to extend the state’s minimum wage protections to domestic workers. Despite incremental increases in Rhode Island’s minimum wage over the years, domestic workers have been left out. Under the current state minimum wage law, these workers are not classified as employees, excluding them from wage protections. The newly passed bill aims to remove this exemption. The bill now heads to Governor Daniel McKee’s desk. 

Domestic Workers Rally for Better Rights and Protections in Miami-Dade County

On Saturday, June 15, dozens of domestic workers from Miami-Dade County gathered at the Miami-Dade Wolfson Campus to demand the passage of a Miami-Dade Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. The event, organized by the Miami Workers Center, WeCount!, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), highlighted the urgent need for legal protections for the nearly 60,000 domestic workers in the county.

The assembly featured powerful testimonials from domestic workers who shared their stories of exploitation, wage theft, and discrimination. Advocates and policymakers spoke about the importance of recognizing domestic work as essential and ensuring that workers are treated with dignity and respect. Further, the assembly invited domestic workers from states and cities that have passed a Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, who shared their experience in the long fight towards domestic worker recognition within our policy priorities.

Domestic Workers Celebrate International Domestic Workers Day, Juneteenth, and Continued Advocacy in Macon

On Saturday, June 15, the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) celebrated care workers in Macon, GA, with events including a mural unveiling and an evening program at the Harriet Tubman Museum. 

The day started with Indigenous artist Mer Young unveiling a mural at 640 Poplar St., honoring care workers in Middle Georgia. The celebration continued at the Harriet Tubman Museum, where domestic workers, advocates, and community leaders highlighted the significance of International Domestic Workers Day and Juneteenth, focusing on the ongoing fight for better wages and recognition.

Domestic workers in Georgia are advocating for better wages and recognition as part of a broader movement to secure dignity and respect for all domestic workers. The celebrations in Macon highlighted the ongoing efforts to achieve equitable treatment and fair wages.

The legacy of domestic worker organizing in the South includes milestones like the Atlanta Washerwoman Strikes of the 1880s. Despite being historically excluded from labor protections since the 1930s, domestic workers continue their fight, inspired by leaders like Dorothy Bolden, founder of the National Domestic Workers Union of America in the 1960s.

New York Domestic Workers Celebrate International Domestic Workers Day with Proclamation Honoring Dorothy Bolden and the State’s Critical Domestic Workforce

On Sunday, June 16, 2024, in honor of International Domestic Workers Day, Senator Jessica Ramos issued a proclamation recognizing the invaluable contributions of domestic workers in New York City. The event, held at the Elmcor Louis Armstrong Center in Queens, celebrated Dorothy Bolden’s legacy and emphasized the ongoing fight for domestic workers’ rights.

Senator Ramos honored domestic workers with a proclamation dedicated to Dorothy Bolden, a pioneering figure in the labor movement. Bolden was a domestic worker and trailblazer who organized domestic workers and fought for their rights, founding the Domestic Workers Union in Atlanta, Georgia. Her legacy helped NDWA pave the way for the passage of Domestic Worker Bills of Rights in 11 states and three cities – including Washington, D.C. –, establishing a foundation for ongoing advocacy.


National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)
National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is the leading voice for dignity and fairness for millions of domestic workers in the United States. Founded in 2007, NDWA works for respect, recognition and inclusion in labor protections for domestic workers, the majority of whom are immigrants and women of color. NDWA is powered by over 70 affiliate organizations and local chapters and by a growing membership base of nannies, house cleaners and care workers in over 20 states. Learn more at NDWA is a non-partisan non-profit organization that does not endorse, support, or oppose any candidates for public office.