Contact: Daniela Perez, [email protected]

The Re-Introduction of the Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Promises Overdue Recognition and Progress for Domestic Workers All Across the Country

The bill honors the past, present, and future of the essential workforce that domestic workers embody. 

WASHINGTON – Ahead of International Domestic Workers Day on June 16, in a historic move to uplift and protect one of the most essential yet overlooked sectors of our workforce, on June 13, the Federal Domestic Worker Bill of Rights has been re-introduced by Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), and Senator Ben Ray Luján (NM). Initially introduced before the pandemic in July 2019 by then-Senator Kamala Harris and Representative Jayapal, this groundbreaking legislation aims to extend crucial workplace protections to domestic workers across the United States, ensuring their work is recognized with the respect, dignity, and recognition it deserves.

Building on the momentum of 11 state Bills of Rights, two city bills, and a bill in Washington, D.C., all spearheaded by the resilient domestic worker movement, this re-introduction marks a pivotal step toward national protection.

The Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights addresses critical gaps in the current labor protection framework, offering comprehensive measures to secure the rights of domestic workers. These include:

  • Extending access to common workplace protections to domestic workers, such as paid overtime, paid sick days, and freedom from discrimination and harassment.
  • Introduction of new protections tailored to the unique circumstances of domestic work, including written agreements, privacy protections, and 
  • Stronger Enforcement mechanisms which are needed to ensure rights are more than words on paper, including “know-your-rights” information and safeguards against retaliation.

Highlighting the essential nature of care jobs, the bill’s reintroduction came when the pandemic starkly highlighted the precarity and importance of domestic work.

“Today marks a significant milestone in our continued fight for justice and recognition for domestic workers. The re-introduction of the Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights is not just a legislative achievement; it is a testament to the power and resilience of domestic workers who have long been the heart of the labor movement. From the trailblazing 1881 Atlanta Washerwomen Strike and Dorothy Bolden’s founding of the National Domestic Workers Union of America during the civil rights era to witnessing a sitting president sign historic executive actions lifting domestic workers who have tirelessly organized for their rights and dignity, we arrive at this moment” said Hillary Holley, Executive Director of Care in Action. “Care in Action remains committed to this legacy, deploying efforts across Nevada, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia—the first state in the South to pass a state-level domestic worker bill of rights. Domestic workers are essential to our economy, our future, and our political power to help win elections so we can create and pass a Care Agenda that honors their invaluable contributions. This bill is a vital step towards ensuring that the voices and rights of domestic workers are finally recognized and respected at the federal level.”

“For more than 400 years, the American economy was built on the backs of domestic workers – first through slavery, then through low-wage jobs lacking worker protections that most Americans enjoy. I come from a family of domestic workers, so I know firsthand the incredible contributions they make to families, communities, the economy, and our nation,” said Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan. “Despite their invaluable impacts, domestic workers, who are predominantly women of color, were exempted from worker protections such as minimum wage, overtime pay, and anti-discrimination laws. While in the Virginia General Assembly, I championed passage of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights to address these long-standing inequities in 2020 and 2021. Today, I am excited to build on that progress and fight to extend those protections to domestic workers nationwide.”

For too long, domestic workers have been left in the shadows of federal workplace protections, vulnerable to exploitation and mistreatment. The Federal Worker Bill of Rights seeks to correct these historical injustices. 

This re-introduction aligns with a broader movement for fair treatment and equitable compensation across all sectors, signaling a moment of solidarity among workers nationwide. 

Domestic workers, predominantly women of color and immigrants, play a critical role in supporting families and households across the country. They face significant wage disparities, benefits, and working conditions despite their contributions. The Federal Domestic Worker Bill of Rights aims to elevate their status, ensuring fair compensation, dignity, and safety in the workplace.

As the bill moves through the legislative process, its sponsors and supporters call upon their colleagues and the public to recognize the vital contributions of domestic workers and to join in the effort to secure these long-overdue rights. 

Care in Action is the policy and advocacy home for women who care, working on behalf of more than two million domestic workers and care workers across America. Among the fastest-growing sectors in our economy, domestic workers are also among the most vulnerable and undervalued. As a mostly women and majority women of color workforce, this growing constituency consistently and overwhelmingly supports progressive values in American political life. Learn more at