We all deserve workplaces that are safe, equitable, and free from discrimination. Legal Voice and our allies have long worked to make that a reality. But one group of workers has often been left behind in these efforts: domestic workers. That's because people who work in private homes as nannies, home care workers, house cleaners, gardeners, and other jobs have historically been—and continue to be—excluded from basic worker protections such as overtime, workers compensation, and coverage by discrimination laws. These gaps in the law are rooted in a legacy of racism and sexism; this legacy continues now as people of color comprise 50% of domestic workers and 95% of domestic workers are women. These exclusions make domestic workers overly vulnerable to unsafe working conditions, unfair wages, and sexual harassment and assault. But change is coming to Seattle! Seattle's Domestic Workers Ordinance, which goes into effect on July 1st, is groundbreaking legislation to increase the health, safety, and economic security of domestic workers. Its passage was due to a movement led by domestic workers themselves and groups organizing these workers like Casa Latina.
We've been honored to lend our legal expertise to that campaign and to a rulemaking process that has welcomed actual domestic workers to the decision-making table. And now, we're partnering with these worker groups to educate attorneys and domestic employers about the impact of the law. (Check our Events page for upcoming CLE opportunities.)
Together we can support this exciting new model to advance the rights of workers who for too long have been overlooked by our laws.