Cary Moon Releases Proposal for Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights
First of a Labor Week Agenda For Seattle’s Working Families
RELEASE AUGUST 31, 2017
Seattle – A Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights is the first of a week-long focus on concrete, effective ways Cary Moon’s mayoral administration will work to improve wages and workplace conditions for Seattle’s workforce.
Cary Moon says: “Seattle has a long history of standing up for the rights of workers and labor unions – whether through passing increases to minimum wage, implementing paid sick and safe leave or supporting collective bargaining efforts. As a city, we believe all work has value and all working people deserve respect.
Seattle’s prosperity should provide shared opportunity and success for everyone, not just the lucky few. Too many of us are putting in longer hours and falling further behind. More than half of Seattleites make less than $50,000/year and too many renters are rent-burdened – meaning too much of paychecks is going to housing costs instead of groceries, medical care, education and other basic needs.
Again and again in our country, people of color have been left out of basic labor protections because certain job categories were excluded. We need bold solutions that bring us toward a shared vision of living wages, access to affordable housing, and workplace health and safety rights for all Seattleites. Adding a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights is a big step in the right direction.
As the manager of our family’s manufacturing business, I knew our company’s success depended on respecting and fully valuing the expertise and hard work of our employees. So I decided to make our 100 employees part owners of the company, increasing productivity, worker retention, and — most importantly — sharing the benefits of our collective labor.
As we head into Labor Day weekend, I am announcing a set of proposals, starting with a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights. Many of these ideas come from groups like Puget Sound Sage, Casa Latina, Fair Work Center, Working Washington, M.L. King County Labor Council, National Domestic Workers Alliance, and others who have been spearheading this important work. I look forward to working with them and other key stakeholders and community members to ensure the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights is centering the voices of those most impacted, and achieves the safety, fair wages, and basic protections they deserve.
This is a starting place and I will invite people working as, and employing, household helpers, nannies, au pairs, housekeepers, and others to give their feedback and offer their expertise. Ensuring all workers are treated with respect and dignity is my priority. These policies are an important baseline to ensure domestic workers have the same workplace protections afforded to other Seattle workers.”
Seattle Domestic Workers Bill of Rights proposal will include:
- Extending Seattle minimum wage standards to live-in workers.
- Mandating meal and rest breaks, and a minimum day of rest every 7 days.
- Extending overtime to live-in workers.
- Ensuring discrimination and sexual harassment laws are fully extended and strengthened for domestic workers.
- Encouraging and supporting efforts by domestic workers to collectively bargain with their employers.
“People at all levels of the workforce, especially the largely female workers who are in homes around the city, deserve the pay, sick leave, rest breaks and rights that others have,” said Karen Hart, President of SEIU 925 which represents thousands of child care providers, educators and others in Seattle. “We’re excited to see that Cary Moon has bold ideas and will listen to everyone, including those who don’t always have a voice, about ways to improve working conditions.”
“As Seattle leads the way advancing worker protections, we need to ensure folks aren’t being left behind,” said Yasmin Aden, Secretary-Treasurer SEIU6 Property Services NW. “Cary Moon’s thoughtful agenda with Seattle workers does just that, allowing us all the chance to rise together.”
Next week, Cary Moon will announce other proposals to improve working conditions including:
- technical assistance and certification program for businesses to meet Seattle’s fair workplace standards;
- equal pay protections for women, LGBTQ and people of color;
- ban on requiring salary histories as a condition of employment;
- limits on non-compete agreements for certain sectors; and
- freelance workers’ bill of rights.
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