From Care in Action, “the policy and advocacy home for women who care, working on behalf of more than two million domestic workers and care workers across America.”
Domestic Workers Recognized by General Assembly for their Contributions to Support Virginia’s Communities
Care Champion Del. Candi Mundon King Introduces Resolution Declaring June 16 as “Domestic Workers Day” in Virginia
RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia’s nannies, house cleaners, care workers, and other domestic workers were recognized on the House and Senate floors today by Del. Candi Mundon King and Sen. Angelia Williams Graves for their contributions to support Virginia’s communities. Del. Mundon King also introduced a resolution to declare June 16 “Domestic Workers Day” in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“This is yet another historical moment for domestic workers in Virginia,” said Hillary Holley, Executive Director of Care in Action. “Stemming from the days of slavery, up until 2020, domestic workers were excluded from basic workplace protections in Virginia and often ignored in the discussion around labor rights. Now, we have a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in place and a resolution solely dedicated to the women who provide care for our families. This speaks to the organizing power of women of color to make transformative change in our communities. When we talk about making economic systemic changes for Black and brown and immigrant women workers, this is what we mean.”
In her floor speech in the House of Delegates, Del. Mundon King stated, “This sector, a vital component of our economy, is unfortunately undervalued and susceptible to abuse. Notably dominated by women of color, particularly immigrants, domestic workers face a stark reality. But thanks to many members in this body, their future is looking brighter every day.”
“I’m the proud descendant of a domestic worker and I am so honored to see these advocates here today,” Mundon King added.
The resolution notes there are nearly 60,000 domestic workers who “care for the elderly, assist people with disabilities, clean homes, and nurture children, thus freeing up the time and attention of millions of other working families.” Domestic Workers Day in the Commonwealth of Virginia will honor “the contributions of Virginia domestic workers to many individuals and families who benefit from their labor and care, and the powerful organizing domestic workers have coordinated globally to set international standards.”
“When I started this work at Care in Action, we were educating lawmakers about the role of domestic workers and the human rights that were being denied to this workforce,” said Yanet Limon-Amado, Virginia State Director for Care in Action. “Thanks to the support of care champions in the General Assembly, these women are no longer ignored. I’m so grateful to see Virginia recognize the work and care domestic workers provide to individuals and families across the commonwealth.”
“We’ve come a long way in our quest to recognize the important place domestic workers have in our society,” said Senator Angelia Williams Graves. “But make no mistake there’s more work to be done so that every worker in Virginia is treated with dignity, compensated adequately, and has access to quality healthcare for themselves and their families. I’m proud to be a voice and champion of domestic workers in the Virginia Senate and pledge to never back down from this important fight.”
Read the entire resolution:
Recognizing the contributions of nannies, house cleaners, care workers, and other domestic workers whose work support Virginia’s communities and households by declaring June 16th as Domestic Workers Day in the Commonwealth of Virginia
WHEREAS, Every day, domestic workers care for the elderly, assist people with disabilities, clean homes, and nurture children, thus freeing up the time and attention of millions of other working families; and
WHEREAS, Domestic work is routinely undervalued and overlooked, casting domestic workers into the shadows and making their needs invisible; and
WHEREAS, According to a 2022 report by the Economic Policy Institute, 54,236 domestic workers were employed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, including nannies, house cleaners, and home care workers; and
WHEREAS, In the U.S. domestic workers were intentionally excluded from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as a concession to Southern politicians in the early 1900’s; and
WHEREAS, This exclusion was mirrored on the state level, creating an unregulated and underground economy that left domestic workers subject to widespread mistreatment and abuse in the U.S.; and
WHEREAS, Without laws to regulate behavior and policies, domestic workers are vulnerable to rampant exploitation including wage theft, sexual harassment and abuse, and discrimination; and
WHEREAS, Domestic workers often have to rely on the good graces of potential employers rather than expect industry standards and practices to protect them; and
WHEREAS, International Domestic Workers Day, June 16, celebrates the 2011 passage of the International Labor Organization Convention 189 for Decent Work for Domestic Workers; and
WHEREAS, In 2010 and 2011 domestic workers from around the world came together to fight to establish the first global standards for the estimated 50 to 100 million domestic workers worldwide; and
WHEREAS, Providing domestic workers with protections equivalent to those available to other workers addresses historic discrimination and frequent exclusion from labor laws for the domestic work sector, and promises better working conditions and better lives; and
WHEREAS, After winning the International Labor Organization Convention 189, domestic workers have continued on with building the International Domestic Workers Federation: a strong, democratic and united domestic workers global organization to protect and advance domestic workers’ rights everywhere; and
WHEREAS, in 2021 Virginia became the first Southern state to extend labor protections to domestic workers by passing the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, and now, eleven states, the District of Columbia, and one municipality have passed Domestic Workers’ Bills of Rights in the U.S. representing a historic step forward for domestic work being recognized as real work and establishing labor protections; and
WHEREAS, Domestic workers have an inherent right to be able to demand more from their industry and be able to engage in dialoguing with employers and government to determine fair standards that honors their humanity; and therefore be it
RESOLVED, BY Commonwealth of Virginia, that it declares June16 as Domestic Workers Day in the Commonwealth of Virginia in honor of the contributions of Virginia domestic workers to many individuals and families who benefit from their labor and care, and the powerful organizing domestic workers have coordinated globally to set international standards.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be presented to Care in Action, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and its domestic worker members in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Care in Action is the policy and advocacy home for women who care, working on behalf of more than two million domestic workers and care workers across America. Among the fastest-growing sectors in our economy, domestic workers are also among the most vulnerable and undervalued. As a mostly women and majority women of color workforce, this growing constituency consistently and overwhelmingly supports progressive values in American political life. Learn more at www.careinaction.us.