Domestic work

Every day, across the nation, millions of domestic workers — most of whom are women — care for the things families value the most: children, homes, parents and neighbors. The care they provide makes all other work possible for millions of families in the United States.

Domestic work is an act of love. “When I work with my clients I say to myself: I am going to make a difference.” Maria, domestic worker from California.

Domestic workers provide care with dignity and respect. Domestic work makes it possible for seniors and people with disabilities to live with dignity at home. Domestic workers make it possible for many busy families to provide safe, reliable care for their children and their homes.

Domestic work is real work. “Some people think domestic work is easy and they do not value our labor, but work is work — no matter what kind of job it is.” Lourdes, domestic worker from California.

The work can be physically and emotionally demanding and many domestic workers log long hours to provide quality care for employers. Every day, domestic workers bring professional skills and experience into the homes of their employers.

Domestic Workers are denied basic labor rights. Though domestic workers are professionals who do real work everyday, domestic workers are excluded from many of the basic protections guaranteed by the Fair Labor Standards Act to most other workers in the United States -- things like minimum wage, overtime, sick and vacation pay. Many do not earn a living wage and work without access to health care, paid sick days or paid time off. Because of domestic workers' unique workplaces -- inside other people’s homes -- the struggles domestic workers face are largely out of the public spotlight.

The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is changing that and working to win the protection and recognition that this essential American workforce deserves.

“I’m proud of the work I do, and I think it should be respected.” Allison, domestic worker from New York.

Learn more about domestic work and watch and read the stories of domestic workers by clicking on the links on this page.