Her employer, a Chinese businesswoman, yelled at her, made death threats and cut her position without warning. In a haze of desperation she remembered a card in her wallet that another Filipina domestic helper had given her to call in an emergency.
After Massachusetts’ passage of a domestic workers’ bill of rights, Ai-jen Poo sees “more states on the horizon.” She’s also looking to build support for subsidies and tax breaks to help families pay for better-trained caregivers.
Historic job protections begin next month for domestic workers in New York. Overtime, paid leave and anti-discrimination provisions are part of a package that could start setting new standards for what some call the most vulnerable job market in every part of the world.
Amid massive layoffs, domestic workers and advocates across the country are looking to New York to become the first state to extend legal protections for health insurance, overtime, severance and cost-of-living salary adjustments.