2020 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
Creating a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights
✔Passed the Legislature!
This bill will create a statewide domestic workers bill of rights modeled largely after the Seattle City ordinance that passed in 2018.
Background: Domestic workers continue to be excluded from laws that extend back to the legacy of New Deal legislation, which originally excluded domestic workers. This marks a legacy of racism and sexism; at the time, 90% of black women worked either as a “domestic” or in agriculture in the 1930s. State laws piggybacked on the federal laws and kept these exclusions. For example, Washington’s Law Against Discrimination has continued to explicitly exclude domestic workers since its drafting in 1949. It is high time to overturn this disturbing legacy and provide protections to these workers who provide essential work, including caregiving for children and the elderly, and household maintenance that enables families to thrive in Washington. The majority of domestic workers are women and disproportionately women of color and immigrants.
Under the bill, domestic workers will have rights to the minimum wage, overtime, meal, and rest breaks just like other workers in Washington. The exclusion of domestic workers from the state discrimination law will be removed, providing domestic workers with racial and sexual harassment protections. Likewise, a workgroup will study extending workers’ compensation to more domestic workers because currently, most domestic workers are excluded from the Washington workers' compensation law. Legal Voice has been closely collaborating with Casa Latina on removing the workers’ compensation exclusion of domestic workers for the past two years.
Bill Info: HB 2511
Update 3/9/20: Senate passed on 3/5/20 (48-1!)
Update 3/2/20: Currently in rules. Hearing in Senate Committee on Labor & Commerce on 2/25/20; Passed out of Committee on 2/27/20
Update 2/18/20: Currently in rules.
Hearing in House Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards on 1/27/20, Andrew Kashyap testified
Passed out of Committee on 2/7/20.
Referred to Appropriations; Passed out of Appropriations on 2/11/20.
For a one page sheet giving background on the bill and the issue, click here.
For a one page sheet giving background on the bill and the issue in Spanish, click here.