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The Reintroduction of the Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Promises Overdue Recognition and Progress for Domestic Workers All Across the Country

The bill honors the past, present, and future of the essential workforce that domestic workers embody.

WASHINGTON – Ahead of International Domestic Workers Day on June 16, in a historic move to uplift and protect one of the most essential yet overlooked sectors of our workforce, on June 13, the Federal Domestic Worker Bill of Rights has been reintroduced by Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), and Senator Ben Ray Luján (NM). Initially introduced before the pandemic in July 2019 by then-Senator Kamala Harris and Representative Jayapal, this groundbreaking 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.

Building on the momentum of 11 state Bills of Rights, two city bills, and a bill in Washington, D.C., all spearheaded by the resilient domestic worker movement, this reintroduction marks a pivotal step toward national protection.

The Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights addresses critical gaps in the current labor protection framework, offering comprehensive measures to secure the rights of domestic workers. These include:

  • Extending access to common workplace protections to domestic workers, such as paid overtime, paid sick days, and freedom from discrimination and harassment.
  • Introduction of new protections tailored to the unique circumstances of domestic work, including written agreements and privacy protections
  • Stronger Enforcement mechanisms which are needed to ensure rights are more than words on paper, including “know-your-rights” information and safeguards against retaliation.

Highlighting the essential nature of care jobs, the bill’s reintroduction came when the pandemic starkly highlighted the precarity and importance of domestic work.

“Today, with the reintroduction of the Federal Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, we celebrate yet another monumental step forward for the nannies, housecleaners, and home care workers who have fought tirelessly for generations to be included in federal labor protections. Though we have witnessed much progress to make domestic work visible and valued, too many domestic workers in the U.S. still lack basic labor rights and protections. This is an unacceptable and inescapable fact that we cannot ignore any longer,” said Jenn Stowe, Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. “How can we call ourselves a great nation when the workers who power our economy, enabling countless families to work and thrive, are denied basic protections that would give them the overtime pay that makes it possible to care for their families, paid sick leave when they are unable to work, and protections from harassment and retaliation on the job? Today’s reintroduction of the Federal Domestic Worker Bill of Rights is a joyous declaration that we stand with domestic workers of the past, support those of the present, and are laying the groundwork for a future where every domestic worker’s contributions are acknowledged as essential to our communities and society.”

“Domestic workers make all other work possible, however too often they are called essential but treated as expendable,” said Representative Jayapal. “This landmark legislation ensures that domestic workers are finally included in our existing labor laws, giving them access to the basic protections they deserve in the workplace like overtime pay, guaranteed rest and meal breaks, and time off, and it ensures they are protected from unsafe working conditions and harassment. It will finally give our domestic workers, who are primarily women of color, the dignity and respect they deserve. As we recognize both International Domestic Workers Day and the upcoming anniversary of the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act, it is time to get this done.”

For too long, domestic workers have been left in the shadows of federal workplace protections, vulnerable to exploitation and mistreatment. The Federal Worker Bill of Rights seeks to correct these historical injustices. 

This re-introduction aligns with a broader movement for fair treatment and equitable compensation across all sectors, signaling a moment of solidarity among workers nationwide. 

Domestic workers, predominantly women of color and immigrants, play a critical role in supporting families and households across the country. They face significant wage disparities, benefits, and working conditions despite their contributions. The Federal Domestic Worker Bill of Rights aims to elevate their status, ensuring fair compensation, dignity, and safety in the workplace.

As the bill moves through the legislative process, its sponsors and supporters call upon their colleagues and the public to recognize the vital contributions of domestic workers and to join in the effort to secure these long-overdue rights. 


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.