Philly workers coalition pushes for stronger retaliation legislation, better funding for Office of Worker Protections in 2024

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When the Philadelphia Domestic Workers Bill of Rights passed in 2019, workers and advocates celebrated it as a landmark win for an industry that has historically been left out of existing labor protections.

But after the law went into effect and workers began exercising their newly protected rights, some of the estimated 16,000 house cleaners, nannies, and caregivers who live in the city began sharing stories of retaliation. Many said they were dismissed after asking their employer for a contract — a key component of the Bill of Rights legislation. Others said they were denied things like guaranteed lunch breaks. Those who filed complaints with the city’s Office of Worker Protections waited up to six months to hear back from an investigator just for confirmation their complaint had been received. In the meantime, the lost wages or time remained unredressed.

Out of those conversations, members of the Pennsylvania Domestic Workers Alliance’s organizing committee began to question what needed to change to protect their rights in the workplace — a mission shared by temp workers, restaurant employees, and workers in many other industries throughout the city.

Domestic workers organized and fought to achieve a citywide Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2019. But many faced backlash from employers when they started to exercise those newly protected rights, and say more is needed to strengthen their labor protections. (Emily Neil/WHYY)

  • December 18, 2023
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