• Advocacy

1930s New Deal Finally Arrives for Domestic Workers

We've been focused a lot lately on how independent workers lack the same protection that traditional workers do. For example: if the boss doesn't pay, a regular employee can go to the Department of Labor, file a wage claim, and badabing-badaboom, the law is on her side. Freelancer? Independent worker? Fuhgedaboutit. Exciting news, then, that the Domestic Workers United's long-fought-for legislation, the NY Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, is expected to see a vote this month in Albany, according to Slate. According to DWU's website, the bill would guarantee "paid sick days, personal days, and vacation days; notice and severance pay; yearly raises tied to inflation; full overtime pay for any work over 40 hours per week; one day of rest per week; protection from employment discrimination; and health benefits." Wow, sounds like having a real job! And, as freelancers and nannies working 60- or 100-hour weeks know, they do have real jobs. If you find yourself wondering, as I did, why domestic workers don't have these rights, and why they didn't unionize ages ago to bargain for them, posts from Slate and Strollerderby explain the painful bargain that FDR made--leaving domestic workers out in the cold--so that the Fair Labor Standards Act might survive. Freelancers Union has been making the case for a "new New Deal" for years now, and we think Roosevelt would agree: it's time to re-cut the social safety net so that it fits all workers. Happy belated May Day! Stand up for your own rights by joining our Get paid, not played campaign to protect all indie workers from deadbeats who don't pay.