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senate Bill S. 2112

Should There Be a Workplace Bill of Rights for Domestic Workers?

Argument in favor

As a group, domestic workers are some of the most underpaid workers in the U.S. Due to their exclusion from major labor protections, they’re vulnerable to wage theft, sexual harassment, systemically low wages and poor working conditions. This bill would make major steps to address these challenges.

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08/23/2019
An ever growing list of trumps accomplishments and of those in congress who support him: Most recent: Was going to give you tax cuts but decided not to. We will soon average a 1.2 trillion deficit. He is repeating NRA talking points on background checks so expect no action taken regardless of the fact there has been 27 arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since El Paso( NOT TOLEDO). Bragged about indefinite child detention because it brings families together. Attacking fellow congresswomen in really disgusting ways and making anti-Semitic remarks about Jews calling them disloyal. Thinks he’s the chosen one based on a conspiracy theory web sight. Impeachment: Obstruction of Justice. Profiting from the Presidency. Collusion - They had a meeting & lied about it. Advocating political & police violence. Abuse of power. Engaging in reckless behavior. Persecuting political opponents. Attacking the free press. Violating immigrants Right to Due Process. Violating campaign finance laws. Racist: Speaks directly to and often tweeting straight from white supremacists. Calls them very fine people. Told fellow congresswomen to go back where they came from. Called them shit hole countries. Called them murderers and rapists. Calls her Pocahontas. Took out full page adds calling for the death of five innocent black kids in New York, 1989. Literally has said in an interview he has Hitlers speeches, My New Order in his nightstand. Our Money: Spent campaign finance money on hush payments to silence a porn star he had an affair with in order to hide it from the voters. Has spent over $100 million of our tax dollars playing golf at his own golf courses. Has never divested from companies and advertises and profits off the White House. Was going to cut Medicaid and Medicare funding to pay for the tax cuts he gave to the rich. Is actively destroying farmers lives with his trade wars that we all know only hurts our pockets not Chinas. Has made the lives of every truck driver across America as well as our own, more dangerous by removing safety regulations that only benefits the pockets of the CEOs of those companies. Has removed any and all protections we had in place from work safety, environment, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and gives that power back to the CEOs, oil companies, men and old white men. Sexual Predator: Accused by more than 20 women of molestation and rape. Bragged about said molestation on tape. Has cheated on all three wives (see above). Has made sexual remarks on camera about his daughter. Belittles and bully’s strong women. Not even sure he’s aware he has two daughters. Idiot: Took the side of Putin over America’s own security agencies on the national stage. Lacks the intelligence and facts needed to communicate on a global level much less national one. Makes policy decisions based on FOX media. Lies when speaks. Doesn’t believe in science and quite often displays his ignorance of it. Russia: Lied about meetings with Russians. Lied about a trump tower Moscow. Personal attorney Michael Cohen (same guy who broke campaign finance laws under trumps direction) had contacts with russian officials. National Security aide Flynn resigned over Russian contacts. Jeff Sessions recused himself because of Russian contacts. Manafort resigned because of Russian contacts. Campaign foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos met with Russians then bragged about it to Australians who then turned that info over to our FBI. Sixteen campaign officials had contacts with Russia and at least nine others new about it. Russian mobster lived in trump tower. trump casino was flagged 106 times for lax money laundering standards and same Russian frequently stayed at trump casino. Has been selling real estate to Russians for years. It really is surprising how many connections to Russians this man has. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Bill Posey You are my representatives. OLC policy: The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. It’s time to do your job. You swore an oath to this country, it’s people and me to uphold the constitution. The president has never upheld that oath. How do you want to be remembered?
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Janet's Opinion
···
08/23/2019
Yes, otherwise there would be no protections or fairness for workers who are the backbone of all businesses. Some employers do not appreciate the human sacrifice that a worker endures to make a decent wage, health benefits, etc.
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Martha's Opinion
···
08/23/2019
Domestic workers need protections and if one can afford someone to cook and clean for them then one can afford benefits. I don't know anyone of low middle or low income who can afford domestic help with or without benefits so I don't think the affordability for these groups is of concern.
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Argument opposed

By raising the cost of domestic workers’ wages and making their industry more regulated, this bill would inevitably raise the cost of hiring domestic workers. This would price middle- and lower-income households out of hiring much-needed help that allows parents in those income groups to hire household assistance.

Libertarian's Opinion
···
08/22/2019
Seriously? Do we not already have a legal system in this country? If the work conditions are poor, people leave. Case and point, the high turnover of Amazon workers. Stop waisting our money, please.
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Gopin2020's Opinion
···
08/22/2019
They are not US citizens and have no constitutional rights. Try protecting Americans not non citizens. #MAGA
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tituswife's Opinion
···
08/22/2019
If you don't like your pay, benefits, job... find another one.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    IntroducedJuly 15th, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. 2112?

This bill — the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act — would include domestic workers in common workplace rights and protections such as paid overtime, safe and healthy working conditions and freedom from workplace harassment and discrimination. It would also create new rights and protections that address domestic work’s unique challenges. 

The common workplace rights and protections this bill would include domestic workers in are: 

  • Overtime pay;
  • Paid sick days;
  • Civil protection from workplace harassment and discrimination;
  • Provision of clear health and safety information, including providing health education grants for domestic workers to community-based organizations;
  • Meal and rest breaks;
  • Protection for live-in workers; and
  • Privacy.

The domestic work-specific rights this bill would create include: 

  • Written contracts;
  • Affordable healthcare;
  • Retirement benefits;
  • Fair scheduling;
  • Support for survivors of sexual harassment; and
  • Grants for workforce training.

This bill would also create “know-your-rights” information, mechanisms to prevent employer retaliation against workers who report abuse, a confidential hotline and emergency access tool to address harassment, affordability for Medicaid consumers and a worker and employer-led federal taskforce.

Impact

Domestic workers; workers’ rights and labor protections for domestic workers; and federal labor laws.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2112

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced this bill to ensure rights and protections for millions of domestic workers across the United States

“Domestic workers are one of the fastest growing workforces in our country. They provide essential care and support to aging parents, people with disabilities, children, and homes. However, our nation’s domestic workers have not been afforded the same rights and benefits as nearly every other worker, and it’s time we change that. I am proud to partner with Congresswoman Jayapal to introduce the first ever Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act, which ensure domestic workers- many of whom are women or people of color- have the dignity and respect they deserve.”

In a statement to ELLE.com, Sen. Harris added: 

“[Domestic workers] help us care for our aging parents and ensure our children stay safe, happy, and healthy, yet these workers, the majority of whom are women or people of color, have historically gone without many basic labor protections afforded to other employees.”

House sponsor Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) says

“I am so proud to be the House sponsor of this historic National Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. Domestic workers have been excluded from basic protections since the New Deal – and domestic workers are the future of work. The courageous working-class women, women of color and immigrant women who are demanding their rights today are unwilling to be excluded any longer. When domestic workers win, everyone wins: this bill will protect, stabilize and expand this important workforce in one of the fastest growing industries in the country.”

The National Domestic Workers Alliance supports this bill. Its Executive Director, Ai-jen Poo, says

“For the first time in history, we have a chance to raise the bar for every domestic worker in our country, and set the stage for all working people. As people live longer, we have the opportunity to embrace an intergenerational future in America, where all of us are cared for at each stage of our lives. All of us deserve to work and live with safety and dignity, and this legislation ensures that no one is left behind.”

Some nonprofit organizations have opposed efforts to pay domestic workers minimum wage and overtime on the basis that these efforts would price some people out of home care.

This legislation has eight Senate cosponsors, including seven Democrats and one Independent. Its House companion, sponsored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), has 39 Democratic House cosponsors. As of August 10, 2019, neither bill had received a committee vote.

A number of workers' rights organizations support this legislation. They include the National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Employment Law Project, National Women’s Law Center, AFSCME, The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), Center for American Progress and SEIU Local 503. 


Of NoteThere are over 2.5 million domestic workers across the U.S. They provide care to children, aging Americans, people with disabilities and homes. Their ranks include nannies, housecleaners and home care workers. 90% of this workforce is female, and women of color comprise over half of the workforce. 

In a 2012 survey of domestic workers that interviewed over 2,000 nannies across 14 cities, over one-third of respondents said they worked long hours without breaks. Additionally, over 90% said they didn’t complain about problems with their working conditions out of fear of losing their jobs. Only 4% of respondents’ employers provided health insurance, so 65% of them were uninsured. Most respondents (82%) also didn’t have any sick days.

Mariana Viturro, deputy director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, says that domestic workers’ problems have only grown worse under the Trump administration. Viturro says she’s noticed fewer workers filing complaints about lost wages or wage theft because of the fear President Donald Trump has fomented in immigrant communities in particular.

Domestic workers have historically not been protected by federal and state labor laws. When Congress first passed federal labor protections in the 1930s as part of the New Deal, domestic workers and farmworkers were left out of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as a concession to Southern lawmakers, whose states w ere highly invested in paying low wages to personal servants. Barnard College history professor Premilla Nadasen explains

“Southern congressmen were fearful that granting black workers labor rights would disrupt the racial order of the South. And Northern labor leaders representing industrial unions also never saw domestic workers as part of their constituency and did not advocate for their rights.”

Lawmakers later amended the FLSA in the 1970s to cover most domestic workers, but live-in housekeepers and nannies remained excluded from the legislation’s protections. They were also excluded from the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, which gave workers the right to form labor unions and organize for better working conditions.

When Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, domestic workers were inadvertently left out because the Civil Rights Act didn’t include protections for workers at companies with fewer than 15 employees (which is virtually all domestic workers, who are employed by single families).

Because of a lack of legal protections, domestic workers are forced to endure systemicly low pay, sexual harassment and labor violations. They also aren’t entitled to overtime pay or a minimum wage (their median hourly wage of $11.43 an hour is one of the lowest in the U.S.), can’t receive worker’s compensation for on-the-job injuries and don’t get unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs. Economist Paul Osterman estimates that if care jobs remain as underpaid as they are today, there’ll be a national shortage of 350,000 paid care providers by 2040

In the absence of federal legislation on this issue, eight states — Oregon, California, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Nevada — have passed their own legislation extending discrimination protections to domestic workers. However, Sen. Harris, Rep. Jayapal and National Domestic Workers Alliance Director Ai-jen Poo argue that state level laws aren’t enough

“While these state-level laws make an important impact, they're certainly not enough to raise standards for the entire sector. There still are many states where domestic workers have very limited or nonexistent protections… That's why… we intend to introduce a National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, because the time has come to ensure that protections and benefits give all domestic workers the respect and dignity they deserve.”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Courtney Hale)

AKA

Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act

Official Title

A bill to enhance the rights of domestic workers, and for other purposes.

    An ever growing list of trumps accomplishments and of those in congress who support him: Most recent: Was going to give you tax cuts but decided not to. We will soon average a 1.2 trillion deficit. He is repeating NRA talking points on background checks so expect no action taken regardless of the fact there has been 27 arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since El Paso( NOT TOLEDO). Bragged about indefinite child detention because it brings families together. Attacking fellow congresswomen in really disgusting ways and making anti-Semitic remarks about Jews calling them disloyal. Thinks he’s the chosen one based on a conspiracy theory web sight. Impeachment: Obstruction of Justice. Profiting from the Presidency. Collusion - They had a meeting & lied about it. Advocating political & police violence. Abuse of power. Engaging in reckless behavior. Persecuting political opponents. Attacking the free press. Violating immigrants Right to Due Process. Violating campaign finance laws. Racist: Speaks directly to and often tweeting straight from white supremacists. Calls them very fine people. Told fellow congresswomen to go back where they came from. Called them shit hole countries. Called them murderers and rapists. Calls her Pocahontas. Took out full page adds calling for the death of five innocent black kids in New York, 1989. Literally has said in an interview he has Hitlers speeches, My New Order in his nightstand. Our Money: Spent campaign finance money on hush payments to silence a porn star he had an affair with in order to hide it from the voters. Has spent over $100 million of our tax dollars playing golf at his own golf courses. Has never divested from companies and advertises and profits off the White House. Was going to cut Medicaid and Medicare funding to pay for the tax cuts he gave to the rich. Is actively destroying farmers lives with his trade wars that we all know only hurts our pockets not Chinas. Has made the lives of every truck driver across America as well as our own, more dangerous by removing safety regulations that only benefits the pockets of the CEOs of those companies. Has removed any and all protections we had in place from work safety, environment, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and gives that power back to the CEOs, oil companies, men and old white men. Sexual Predator: Accused by more than 20 women of molestation and rape. Bragged about said molestation on tape. Has cheated on all three wives (see above). Has made sexual remarks on camera about his daughter. Belittles and bully’s strong women. Not even sure he’s aware he has two daughters. Idiot: Took the side of Putin over America’s own security agencies on the national stage. Lacks the intelligence and facts needed to communicate on a global level much less national one. Makes policy decisions based on FOX media. Lies when speaks. Doesn’t believe in science and quite often displays his ignorance of it. Russia: Lied about meetings with Russians. Lied about a trump tower Moscow. Personal attorney Michael Cohen (same guy who broke campaign finance laws under trumps direction) had contacts with russian officials. National Security aide Flynn resigned over Russian contacts. Jeff Sessions recused himself because of Russian contacts. Manafort resigned because of Russian contacts. Campaign foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos met with Russians then bragged about it to Australians who then turned that info over to our FBI. Sixteen campaign officials had contacts with Russia and at least nine others new about it. Russian mobster lived in trump tower. trump casino was flagged 106 times for lax money laundering standards and same Russian frequently stayed at trump casino. Has been selling real estate to Russians for years. It really is surprising how many connections to Russians this man has. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Bill Posey You are my representatives. OLC policy: The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. It’s time to do your job. You swore an oath to this country, it’s people and me to uphold the constitution. The president has never upheld that oath. How do you want to be remembered?
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    Seriously? Do we not already have a legal system in this country? If the work conditions are poor, people leave. Case and point, the high turnover of Amazon workers. Stop waisting our money, please.
    Like (22)
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    Share
    Yes, otherwise there would be no protections or fairness for workers who are the backbone of all businesses. Some employers do not appreciate the human sacrifice that a worker endures to make a decent wage, health benefits, etc.
    Like (32)
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    Domestic workers need protections and if one can afford someone to cook and clean for them then one can afford benefits. I don't know anyone of low middle or low income who can afford domestic help with or without benefits so I don't think the affordability for these groups is of concern.
    Like (26)
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    Domestic workers are very vulnerable to abuse and are paid very low wages. A Bill of Rights is necessary.
    Like (25)
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    It is amazing how many people act as if just “getting another job” will fix the problems of every day individuals. Yes we know we have the freedom to leave; what a lot of us don’t have the freedom to do is simply leave a job while looking for a new one. There are millions of Americans who work paycheck to paycheck and can’t even afford to take a day off to attend an interview elsewhere. I pull myself up by my bootstraps everyday like the right loves to say and yet despite working damn near 50 hours a week I still can’t create a financial cushion and not one job opening in my area is paying more than 16 an hour. Some of you really like to condescend to others that suffer and it’s really unfortunate.
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    There should be a workplace bill of rights, period.
    Like (19)
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    As a group, domestic workers are some of the most underpaid workers in the U.S. Due to their exclusion from major labor protections, they’re vulnerable to wage theft, sexual harassment, systemically low wages and poor working conditions. This bill would make major steps to address these challenges.
    Like (18)
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    Absolutely! All of the most essential needs we have when we have kids and must work to support them, when we are sick and need help, when we are young and need to be taught the knowledge we will need to survive and succeed, when we age and need assistance to perform our daily activities, when we have an accident, or our house catches on fire — a hundred other needs we have to insure that we can live reasonably comfortably— ALL of these things require the aid of workers who are financially valued the least in their jobs by our country. The more we are unable to do without them, the less we are willing to compensate them. The values of capitalism and libertarianism, unreasonably applied to human beings is at the root of this. Those whose work matters most in our society are taken for granted and their value to us disregarded as we pursue our national agenda of acquisition and our worship of the culture of deregulated capitalism. It is time to humanize capitalism and make it responsive to ALL of our needs. This is one way to begin that process.
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    They are not US citizens and have no constitutional rights. Try protecting Americans not non citizens. #MAGA
    Like (14)
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    If you don't like your pay, benefits, job... find another one.
    Like (13)
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    Alll humans have rights.
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    This idea that you should have more or less rights based on the type of work you do is very flawed. Of course they should be included.
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    I never met anyone I thought of as ‘middle class’ who had an employee.
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    Yes, absolutely. Otherwise, Corrupt Conservatives will abuse them, exploit and take advantage of them, and in many cases, essentially enslave them. When you do not see other human beings as living beings that deserve to be respected and treated humanely, and you do not possess human traits, such as empathy, and compassion, you tend to treat human beings as objects. This is the case with Conservatism and the mental disease that Conservatives are afflicted with. Conservatism has removed or not allowed human traits and qualities to develop in the brain, and therefore Conservatives are rendered harmful to others and society. Some appear to understand and comprehend laws and rights, and most likely legal ramifications that may cost them money, which is more precious to Conservatives than a human life. This is why we must provide written laws that protect innocent victims from Conservatism and Conservatives.
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    By raising the cost of domestic workers’ wages and making their industry more regulated, this bill would inevitably raise the cost of hiring domestic workers. This would price middle- and lower-income households out of hiring much-needed help that allows parents in those income groups to hire household assistance. SneakyPete......... 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻. 8.22.19..........
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    You bet there should be! The horror stories I’ve heard from some of these people are beyond belief. They deserve the same respect as any other worker. Do it! The rich, especially, have been getting away with paying these people a pittance for ages, considering the work they do. You put yourself in their shoes and ask yourselves if this is a life you would choose. I doubt you’d say yes. They should be treated just like any other worker - overtime pay, payroll deductions (so they have some right to Social Security and Medicare, when they are eligible), and vacation time, at the bare minimum. You wealthy, who take advantage of those less fortunate, will get yours on judgment day. Better make sure you’re up to it and not going down the other way, like your lover, the Dump!
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    Long overdue! These hard workers need help too as most are taken advantage of in a variety of ways including extended work hours, low wages, no opportunity for insurance, vacation or sick time or to collect unemployment!
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    For too long, domestic workers have been not treated like real workers. In the shadows of legitimate employment.
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    This will dramatically reduce the number of these jobs, women and poor will be hit hardest.
    Like (9)
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