What is the Philadelphia Domestic Workers Bill of Rights?

The Philadelphia Domestic Workers Bill of Rights protects domestic workers – regardless of immigration status – from workplace abuses, raises standards, and gives workers the mechanism to hold their employers accountable. Thanks to the leadership of Philly domestic workers, Philly’s 16,000 nannies, housecleaners, and caregivers have new rights, recognition, and respect that went into effect on May 1, 2020.

What rights are included in the bill?

The Philadelphia Domestic Workers Bill of Rights includes the following:

1. Including Domestic Workers in Common Workplace Rights and Protections

  1. Discrimination Protections: Freedom from discrimination and harassment on the job and in hiring and firing.
  2. Meal and Rest Breaks: Domestic workers deserve the right to take breaks like other workers. Every four hours worked consecutively, the worker gets 10 minutes for a paid break. Every five hours worked consecutively, the worker gets a 30 minute unpaid, uninterrupted break. If the break is interrupted or can’t be taken, those 30 minutes will be paid by the employer at the end of the shift.
  3. Protections for Live-In Workers: Requires time off for live-in workers – one day off for every six consecutive days worked.

2. New Workplace Rights and Benefits and Addressing the Unique Challenges of Domestic Work

  1. Written Agreements: Requires a written agreement to ensure that workers and employers understand the rights domestic workers have under the law, and that full terms, duties, and conditions of their employment are clear and explicit. The written agreement will be in English and the preferred language of the employer. See an example of a written contract here.
  2. Notice of Termination: Domestic workers must be provided an adequate and timely notice of termination. Live in workers must receive four weeks notice of termination and non live-in workers must receive two weeks notice. If that notice isn’t given, the boss will pay those weeks to the worker.
  3. Privacy Protections: Employers cannot hold onto the original identity documents of the worker, such as a passport, visa, or drivers licenses. Employers cannot film in private spaces of the house such as a workers bedroom or bathroom.
  4. Portable Paid Time Off: The law gives up to 40 hours of paid time off a year to domestic workers, regardless of the number of employers they have.
  5. Ensuring that Rights are Real through Implementation and Enforcement
  6. Creating a Domestic Worker Task Force: Establishes a Domestic Workers Standards and Implementation Board to investigate standards in the industry and make recommendations to the City to promote health, safety, well-being, and living wages for domestic workers. The Board is a mechanism for domestic workers to organize and have their voice heard at work.
  7. Preventing Retaliation: The bill establishes protections against retaliation for domestic workers who exercise their rights.
  8. Know Your Rights: Establishing new rights is only the first step. Employers and workers need to know what they are. The bill requires employers to provide a notice of rights and protections for domestic workers under Philadelphia law.

Learn more about this bill

What do I do if my rights as a domestic worker in Philadelphia are disrespected?

We are working to make sure the bill of rights is respected and enforced by employers and the City of Philadelphia. If you are a nanny, house cleaner, or caregiver in Philadelphia, bookmark our Know Your Rights information sheet that summarizes your rights, and describes what to do if your rights are violated.

Philadelphia Domestic Workers Rights Updates