We need a New Jersey Domestic Worker Bill of Rights!

New Jersey State Legislature

Domestic workers have always been essential, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear just how vital care work is to our state. Essential workers like domestic workers have been called heroes, yet they are treated as expendable: under-valued and under-paid. They are often among the first to lose income and last to receive support.

It's time to protect house cleaners, nannies and home attendants at work. The New Jersey Domestic Worker Bill of Rights will ensure that these workers benefit from the same policies that protect workers in other industries—basic labor laws that have been denied to domestic workers for far too long.

This policy includes the guarantee of safe working conditions, freedom from harassment and discrimination, rest and meal breaks, and more.

New York, California, Illinois, Nevada, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Mexico, Virginia, and Oregon and the cities of Seattle and Philadelphia have already passed protections for domestic workers. It’s time for New Jersey to do the same.

Sponsored by

To: New Jersey State Legislature
From: [Your Name]

As employers and allies of domestic workers, we recognize the critical importance of the work performed by the house cleaners, nannies and care givers who work in our homes. Their work makes it possible for us to work and care for our loved ones. We write in support of the thousands of domestic workers in New Jersey, and the need for legislation to guarantee workplace safety and freedom from abuses such as discrimination, harassment, retaliation when speaking up, and no benefits such as health insurance or time off.

We are deeply concerned that domestic workers are currently provided few workplace protections in New Jersey or at the federal level. Historically, domestic workers were excluded from labor law protections in the U.S. since the New Deal, an exclusion that perpetuated post-slavery white supremacy when southern Congress members refused to sign the law if farm workers and domestic workers, the majority of whom were Black, were included. This vestige of slavery needs to be eliminated from our laws and society immediately.

We urge you to make a change in the unjust treatment of domestic workers by supporting legislation that will expand labor protections and raise workplace standards for nannies, house cleaners, and care givers. Following the example of nine states and two municipalities (Seattle and Philadelphia) that have passed Domestic Worker Bills of Rights, workers from the New Jersey Domestic Worker Alliance coalition are leading the way for a Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. This bill will include critical protections for domestic workers.

Domestic workers enable us to go to our own workplaces with the peace of mind that our loved ones and homes are safe and well cared for. As such, we want our employees to be treated with the dignity they deserve.

As employers and allies of domestic workers, we stand with these workers in support of the New Jersey Domestic Worker Bill of Rights and call on you to pass this critical legislation.