For Immediate Release: May 12, 2020
Contact: Nidya Sarria-King, [email protected]
In response to the release of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, National Domestic Workers Alliance executive director Ai-jen Poo issued this statement:
“The HEROES Act addresses many of the urgent concerns that domestic workers, their families, and communities are facing during this crisis. Domestic workers are overwhelmingly women, and disproportionately women of color. They and other low-wage workers are among those hardest hit by this crisis, yet they have continued to provide essential services, keeping our families safe and cared for. They deserve to have their contributions recognized, and this legislation does so. If passed, this legislation will send a strong signal that this workforce is the backbone of our economy and can no longer be overlooked.
“The HEROES ACT includes significant provisions to bring domestic workers much of the relief they have been waiting for from the federal government, including billions of dollars in necessary relief to states and localities. The bill provides funding for family care, recognizing for the first time the impact of this pandemic on working families who need to balance caring for their family members and making ends meet. It also includes millions of undocumented workers and their families who have been cruelly excluded from previous relief legislation. These are important and necessary steps toward supporting working people, especially Black and Latinx communities, in this time of crisis.
“The road to recovery ultimately begins with people: all the essential workers who will heal and power our country forward — Black, Latinx, Asian, Native, and white. Congress must immediately pass this relief bill to begin to meet the urgent needs of working families. There is important work to be done to address the depth of the crisis facing our nation. As we fight to pass this bill, NDWA will continue to advocate to keep people connected to employment, to extend healthcare to all, to call for additional relief, and to create a real safety net and good jobs to return to when it is safe to go back to work. While social distancing may have us feeling more alone, we know that our collective action matters, now more than ever. NDWA will continue to take action to ensure our policy and our leaders continue to meet the moment, which is far from over.”
The HEROES Act includes many key priorities for domestic workers including premium pay for a broad group of essential workers, financial assistance that is inclusive of millions of immigrant families, and expanded access to coronavirus testing and treatment regardless of insurance coverage and citizenship status. It also invests in care by providing family care for essential workers, closing significant loopholes in the paid sick days and paid leave provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and invests new funding in home and community based services.