Philadelphia Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

By taking care of homes and loved ones, Philadelphia’s 16,000 nannies, house cleaners and caregivers do the work that makes all other work possible. They allow employers to work outside of the home with the peace of mind that those who are most precious to them are safe and well cared for. Despite this, Philadelphia’s domestic workers haven’t been afforded the same piece of mind because they have been excluded from almost every local, state, and federal labor protection.

The Philadelphia Domestic Workers Bill of Rights changes that. This law protects domestic workers – regardless of immigration status – from workplace abuses, raises standards, and gives workers the mechanism to hold their employers accountable. Thanks to the leadership of Philly domestic workers, Philly’s 16,000 nannies, house cleaners, and caregivers have new rights, recognition, and respect!

If you’re a domestic worker in Philly and want to get involved, sign up here!

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What's in the law?

Including Domestic Workers in Common Workplace Rights and Protections

  • Discrimination Protections: Freedom from discrimination and harassment on the job and in hiring and firing. 
  • Meal and Rest Breaks:  Domestic workers deserve the right to take breaks like other workers. Every four hours worked consecutively, the worker gets 10 minutes for a paid break. Every five hours worked consecutively, the worker gets a 30 minute unpaid, uninterrupted break. If the break is interrupted or can’t be taken, those 30 minutes will be paid by the employer at the end of the shift. 
  • Protections for Live-In Workers: Requires time off for live-in workers – one day off for every six consecutive days worked.

New Workplace Rights and Benefits and Addressing the Unique Challenges of Domestic Work

  • Written Agreements: Requires a written agreement to ensure that workers and employers understand the rights domestic workers have under the law, and that full terms, duties, and conditions of their employment are clear and explicit. The written agreement will be in English and the preferred language of the employer. An example of a written contract is here.
  • Notice of Termination: Domestic workers must be provided an adequate and timely notice of termination. Live in workers must receive four weeks notice of termination and non live-in workers must receive two weeks notice. If that notice isn’t given, the boss will pay those weeks to the worker. 
  • Privacy and Anti-Trafficking: Employers cannot hold onto the original identity documents of the worker, such as a passport, visa, or drivers licenses. Employers cannot film in private spaces of the house such as a workers bedroom or bathroom. 
  • Portable Paid Time Off: The law gives up to 40 hours of paid time off a year to domestic workers, regardless of the number of employers they have. Domestic workers will have a single account where they will accrue paid time off from each of their qualifying employers.  This portion of the law will go into effect later in the year.

Ensuring that Rights are Real through Implementation and Enforcement

  • Creating a Domestic Worker Task Force: Establishes a Domestic Workers Standards and Implementation Board to investigate standards in the industry and make recommendations to the City to promote health, safety, well-being, and living wages for domestic workers. The Board is a mechanism for domestic workers to organize and have their voice heard at work.
  • Preventing Retaliation: The bill establishes protections against retaliation for domestic workers who exercise their rights.
  • Know Your Rights: Establishing new rights is only the first step. Employers and workers need to know what they are. The bill requires employers to provide a notice of rights and protections for domestic workers under Philadelphia law.

If your rights have been violated, please fill out this form and we will help you file a complaint! You can also call us at 215-398-5978 and visit our website: 

You can also find more information on the City of Philadelphia’s website here.