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Surveying domestic workers in the USA


In 2012, the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) published the findings of the first national survey of domestic workers in the US. Titled 'Home Economics: The Invisible and Unregulated World of Domestic Work', the study breaks new ground by providing an empirically based and representative picture of domestic employment in 21st century America. The study surveyed 2,086 nannies, caregivers, and housecleaners in 14 metropolitan areas and from 71 countries. The survey was conducted in nine languages, and employed a participatory methodology in which 190 domestic workers and organisers from 34 community organisations collaborated in survey design, the fielding of the survey, and the preliminary analysis of the data. The standardised set of questions employed in the survey focused on four key aspects of the industry: pay rates, benefits, and their impact on the lives of workers and their families; employment arrangements and employers' compliance with employment agreements; workplace conditions, on-the-job injuries, and access to health care; as well as abuse at work and the ability to remedy substandard conditions. The study, which highlights the lack of federal and state labour protections for domestic workers, has been an effective tool in the NDWA's national-level policy campaigns and awareness-raising efforts. Research by NDWA and its affiliates has also contributed to the adoption of Domestic Workers' Bills of Rights in a number of states, including New York, Hawaii, California, and Massachusetts.


last updated on 06.05.2015^ top