Every Betty Needs a Bill of Rights!
September 1, 2023
Y’all – we’re doing it! It’s been a long-awaited goal to fully shut Two Bettys down for Labor Day and give everyone the day off. Often it’s the office and corporate jobs that get a paid day off for Labor Day, and all other industries have to work a normal day. No disrespect to office work – all work is important – but…what?! Labor Day should be about noticing and appreciating the work that goes most unappreciated the rest of the year, like (you guessed it!) domestic workers.
Shutting down the company for a day isn’t easy, and it’s certainly not cheap, but Two Bettys was founded on the belief that companies can be good for the environment AND for people. We didn’t intend for this to be a radical notion! But as we learned more, we realized that the “invisibility” of domestic workers is not a superpower and that their work often goes unnoticed, unrecognized, and unappreciated.
Let’s address the elephant in the room (and the country) and name that this is largely because the domestic work industry descended from slavery – when Black women were forced to care for a white family’s home and children.
It’s easy to see the legacy that’s left. The same laws found in other industries do not protect domestic workers: no right to overtime, paid breaks, or even minimum wage in some cases.
We’re proud to be the exception to the rule, and want more organizations and individuals to see and celebrate the amazing domestic workers who help our homes sparkle and lives run smoother.
The National Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights was introduced in 2019 by then-Senator Kamala Harris. And while it didn’t pass then, nor the number of times it’s been introduced since 😒, ten states, two major cities, and the District of Columbia have passed local versions of the bill (shout out to them!!).
So what’s proposed for a National Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights? Lots! You can read more here, but we’ll summarize and give you some of the top points (and yes, if it’s on the list, domestic workers DON’T currently have these rights protected by national law).
The National Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights would guarantee the right to receive:
- Paid sick leave for themselves and their family
- Meal and rest breaks
- Civil rights protections, including protection against workplace harassment
- Written agreements with established roles and responsibilities
- Protection against lost pay due to last-minute cancellations
- Overtime pay
If you’re looking to learn more, you can start here:
If you’ve considered cleaning as a profession and feel freaked out by reading how inadequate the protections are – we get it! We don’t want to toot our own horn TOO loudly, but we’re proud to provide all the items on the list and guarantee that you won’t be exposed to toxic cleaning chemicals.
And if you’re looking to hire a cleaner, by working with us, you can be sure that the person helping you in your home is treated fairly, and check out our guide to ensure you’re doing it right when you bring a domestic worker into your home.
What else can you do? So glad you asked! Show your support for the National Domestic Bill of Rights, sign the petition, and tell your reps that in 2024, let’s pass this bill.