Toward righting the historic and contemporary wrongs, we endorse the following recommended actions:
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Expand and leverage public investment in home care to create quality jobs. Eighty-three percent of home care services for the elderly and disabled are funded by public programs—most notably, Medicaid. Consequently, the government has a tremendous opportunity to shape and influence standards in the field that will make domestic jobs quality jobs that offer livable wages, access to healthcare, occupational health and safety protections, and paid time off.
Establish basic labor protections for domestic workers in all employment settings. The National Employment Law Project (NELP) has focused much of its research on home care workers and recommends that labor protections be established to which employers can be held accountable. We believe that baseline protections should be applied across all domestic work fields in all employment settings. Recognizing that “one size will not fit all,” the baseline protections should be specific to the different fields and tailored to fill the protection gaps within federal and specific state laws that define workers’ rights and occupational safety and health protections.
Prioritize investment in enforcement of labor standards and protections for domestic workers in all employment settings. Laws are only as strong as the enforcement infrastructure behind them. Therefore, we call for investment in systems and structures that continually monitor adherence to labor standards and protections.
Black Domestic Workers Continue the Call for Standards in the Care Industry