The National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights is national legislation that ensures domestic workers are included in common workplace laws while creating new protections and stronger ways to enforce them.

This legislation is coming at a critical time for working women. The pandemic not only showed us how essential care is to keep our society and economy going, it highlighted the precarious nature of work that domestic workers, disproportionately composed of Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous women and immigrant women, face everyday. Our elected leaders have an opportunity to ensure that care jobs are good jobs. The National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights is a critical step in making that possible.

The National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights is a groundbreaking national legislation to create strong rights and workplace protections for domestic workers across the country.

The bill, co-sponsored by Senators Kristen Gillibrand and Ben Ray Luján and Representative Pramila Jayapal, will create a national standard that provides the respect, dignity, and recognition that all domestic workers deserve.

If passed, the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights will do the following, amongst other provisions:

Ensure domestic workers have paid sick leave to take care of themselves or their families.

Extend civil rights protections, including against workplace harassment, to domestic workers.

Afford domestic workers the right to meal and rest breaks.

Establish written agreements to ensure clarity on roles and responsibilities.

Protect against losing pay due to last minute cancellations.

Support the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

Add your name to our petition if you’re ready to fight for justice, dignity, and respect for domestic workers in the United States.

Background

Domestic workers are one of the fastest growing workforces in the nation, yet these nannies, house cleaners and home care workers have historically been excluded from worker protections and, as a result, often have no benefits, little protections, and little recourse or enforcement mechanism. A 2021 National Domestic Workers Alliance survey of domestic workers also reported:

  • Only 16% of domestic workers have a written agreement with their employer.
  • Over one-third of domestic workers do not get meal and rest breaks and of those that do, only 34% of those who get meal and rest breaks are paid for those breaks.
  • 81% of domestic workers receive no pay if their employer cancels on them with less than three-days notice, and 76 % receive no pay if their employer cancels on them after they show up for work.
  • 23% of domestic workers do not feel safe at work.

The National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights was originally introduced in 2019 by then-Senator Harris and Congresswoman Jayapal. For the 2021 introduction, the bill has been updated to simplify and clarify the written agreement, fair scheduling, and standards board and notice of rights provisions, clarify how hiring entities must provide schedules and schedule changes, and include lessons learned from the pandemic.

View 2021 Section Summary

Bills of Rights create real material change for domestic workers. With bills in 10 states and two cities, domestic workers are able to establish better pay & working conditions and file complaints in situations of abuse.

Congresswoman Jayapal

The COVID-19 pandemic only highlights the cruel gaps in our labor laws as millions of courageous domestic workers — who are disproportionately working-class women, women of color, and immigrant women — have risked their own health and the health of their families to keep America afloat. They are being called essential but treated as expendable. Supported by Vice President Harris and President Biden, our landmark legislation reverses domestic workers’ exclusion from the Fair Labor Standards Act to provide these heroes with the rights and protections that nearly all other workers enjoy while ensuring they finally receive the dignity, respect, and justice they deserve.

Congresswoman Jayapal

Campaign Updates
  • On July 29, 2021, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), re-introduced into Congress the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Read the Press Release.