Philadelphia is on track to be the largest city in the United States to pass legislation to protect domestic workers against exploitation. The city’s estimated 16,000 domestic workers — caretakers, nannies and house cleaners — are currently excluded from labor laws, meaning they have little means of recourse when they are abused or underpaid by employers.
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City Council by Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez formally introduced the Philadelphia Domestic Workers Bill of Rights on Thursday, a major announcement following months of campaigning by the Philadelphia Domestic Workers Alliance.
The Philadelphia Inquirer explains what the bill would do:
Mayor Jim Kenney has already signalled his support of the bill and five City Council members appeared at a press conference to show their support.
Currently, only nine states — New Mexico, New York, Hawaii, Connecticut, California, Illinois, Nevada, Massachusetts and Oregon — and the City of Seattle have protections for domestic workers.
There should be hearings on the bill this fall, and advocates hope the bill will pass Council and be signed by Kenney by the end of this year.