“I worked for a family as a nanny, that also asked me to care for their elderly father, as if I was a certified home care worker, and expected me to be a full-time cleaner during their vacation getaways. When I worked over 50 hours, they only submitted 40 hours worked, claiming I was salaried to avoid paying overtime.
There are a lot of good employers out there, but this kind of thing shouldn’t happen to anyone in our field. It’s not allowed in other workforces, and it shouldn’t be allowed in ours.” — Michelle Manney
Nannies and house cleaners in Seattle are set to make history.
These workers have been excluded from basic workers’ rights laws for decades. But on Monday, Seattle City Council is expected to vote on a groundbreaking Domestic Workers Bill of Rights which takes these workers from invisible to powerful.
Until now, few nannies and house cleaners have had access to basic rights and benefits. Some have even been excluded from the minimum wage. And there’s been no good way for workers to come together to set industry-wide standards and improve conditions.
That’s all about to change.
On Monday,Seattle City Council will vote on a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, sponsored by Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, which:
Covers all part-time, full-time, independent contractors, and live-in domestic workers in the city — regardless of whether they are technically employed by an agency or a family, and regardless of whether they are classified as employees.
Ensures all domestic workers are covered by the minimum wage and receive rest breaks.
Establishes a Domestic Workers Standards Board which includes workers, employers, and community representatives and has the power to establish industry-wide standards on wages, benefits, training, and other issues.
The Domestic Workers Standards Board would be a breakthrough step for workers rights in Seattle and across the country — a new model of worker power being led by women and people of color who have been too long excluded from other basic legal protections.
This is a huge step forward. It’s another breakthrough victory for Working Washington members. And just like $15, secure scheduling, paid family leave, and other historic steps for workers rights, it shows how much we can accomplish when come together, speak out, and take action.
Thank you to all the Working Washington members who have gotten us to this point. And if you’re not a member yet, now is the perfect time to join!