Domestic Workers

Who is a domestic worker?

Domestic include workers nannies, childcare providers, caregivers or attendants
to people with disabilities or seniors, house cleaners cooks, gardeners, or other household workers. They work in a private home, whether they are directly hired by the household or by an agency.

What overtime rights do domestic workers have under federal law?

Federal law provides overtime at time and one-­‐half after 40 hours of work in a week to the following: live-­‐out domestic workers such as nannies, house cleaners, cooks and other domestic workers who are not caregivers or companions. In September 2013, the federal Department of Labor revised its regulations to provide most domestic workers with federal minimum wage and overtime. The regulations do not take effect until 2015.


  • Because most domestic workers typically work less than 40 hours a week we recommend municipal and/or state fair scheduling for employees
  • We support a municipal and/or state law requiring private employers provide part time and full time employees paid sick leave similar to 40 US cities and 5 states
  • Expand the current City of Houston wage theft ordinance and increase financial penalties to all private employers within city limits, not just city contractors
  • Do a feasibility study requiring hotels with more than 50 rooms to provide panic buttons to housekeepers similar to major hotel companies


Truth Out – Nearly 20,000 Domestic Workers Are About to Get Fair Wages. How’d They Do That?

Truth Out – Denied the Right to Unionize, Domestic Workers Find New Ways to Organize

Truth Out – At UN Conference, Domestic Workers Push for International Labor Standards

Salon – Behind domestic workers’ new bill of rights

Rewire – Hawaii Passes Domestic Workers’ Legislation, Mirrors New York’s in Substance

Think Progress – Hawaii Becomes Second State To Pass A Domestic Workers Bill Of Rights

Think progress – Big Wins For The People Who Clean Our Homes And Care For Our Children

The Nation – California Governor Signs Domestic Worker Bill of Rights

The Nation – What’s Next for the Domestic Workers Movement?

Boston Globe – Governor Patrick signs Domestic Workers Bill of Rights into law

Statesman Journal – Oregon becomes fifth state to pass domestic worker bill of rights

NCSL – Fair Wage and Labor Standards for In-Home Direct Care Workers Goes Into Effect November 12, 2015

Time – History Shows How 2 Million Workers Lost Rights

Texas Tribune – Bill: Hire An Illegal, Go to Jail — But Maids Are OK

Domestic Workers in Texas are Fighting for Their Rights

Economic Policy Institute – Low Wages and Scant Benefits Leave Many In-Home Workers Unable to Make Ends Meet

The American Prospect – With New Protections Tied Up in the Courts, Home Health-Care Workers Aren’t Waiting Around

Houston Public Media – Texas Domestic Workers Travel To New Orleans For DACA Hearing

San Antonio Express News – Domestic workers protest treatment

Texas Observer – Eye on Texas: Xiomara, a Domestic Worker Who’s ‘Invisible in Austin’

Democracy Now – In Historic Move, AFL-CIO Expands Ranks with Vote to Include Non-Union, Immigrant, Low-Wage Workers

Yes Magazine – How Domestic Workers Won Their Rights: Five Big Lessons

Mother Jones – Invisible Women: The Real History of Domestic Workers in America

Fast Company – The Domestic Workers Alliance Creates New Framework For Improving Gig Economy Jobs

Capital Public Radio – UCLA Report Finds One In Six Domestic Workers Under Minimum Wage

Dissent Magazine – Domestic Workers at a Crossroads

NPR – MacArthur Grantee Recognized For Advocacy Of Domestic Workers

NPR – As America Grays, A Call For Dignity In Aging And Elder Care

San Francisco Chronicle – Domestic workers speak out to make overtime requirement permanent

The Hill – Supreme Court denies review of minimum wage rule

PBS – Appeals court reinstates wage rules for home care workers

Chicago Tribune – Rauner signs law extending labor protections to domestic workers

Las Vegas Review Journal – Nevada Senate approves protections for domestic workers

New Report Reveals Just How Difficult Life Can Be for Texas’ Latina Domestic Workers

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