National Domestic Workers Alliance Launches Hotline for Homecare Workers in Georgia & New Mexico
BOSTON – The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee today announced a $25,000 grant to The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), the leading voice for dignity and fairness for domestic workers in the United States. NDWA is the second organization to receive a grant from UUSC’s Human Rights Innovation Fellowship which was launched last year.
The grant was awarded to NDWA to support the launch of its “National Homecare Workers Hotline,” which will serve as a resource for those seeking information regarding their rights as domestic workers in the U.S. as well as legal assistance. In addition, the hotline will also serve as a pipeline of cases to local U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) enforcement offices, which have agreed to partner with NDWA on case violations.
For nearly 30 years, domestic workers remained exempt from protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which was updated in 2014 to finally include domestic workers. While the amended legislation provides domestic workers with new protections many workers’ rights still remain at risk of being violated.
“At a time when workers rights – especially those of immigrants – are increasingly under threat, we were eager to support NDWA’s innovative new program,” said Hannah Hafter. “NDWA’s hotline will help to educate workers about their rights while also providing them with legal services when they are violated, and eventually serve as a model for a national program.”
NDWA will launch pilot projects in New Mexico and Georgia — two states with large homecare worker populations — with plans to expand to other states in the future with additional support provided by nearly 60 affiliate partners across the country.
The hotline will benefit domestic workers that act as caregivers to seniors with disabilities; more often than than these workers low-income workers come from low-income, urban populations, as well as other traditionally marginalized communities such as women, seniors, and immigrants who recently entered the workforce in the U.S.
“Far too many workers are entirely unaware of their rights, and fewer still are able to access legal counsel when they are violated,” said Ellie Kugler, federal policy director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. “We were honored to receive this grant from UUSC to support the launch of our hotline, which we believe will fill a void that’s been allowed to persist for far too long.”
UUSC’s Human Rights Innovation Fellowship awards competitive grants on an annual basis to partner organizations developing innovative solutions to address issues related to economic justice and human rights.
About the Unitarian Universalist Services Committee
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a human rights organization powered by grassroots collaboration, working throughout the United States and more than a dozen other countries worldwide. Since 1940, UUSC has fostered social, economic, and environmental justice, protected civil liberties, worked toward a world free from oppression, delivered aid with dignity, and advanced the rights of people left behind during conflicts and natural disasters.
About National Domestic Workers Alliance
The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States, most of whom are women. Founded in 2007, NDWA works for the respect, recognition, and inclusion in labor protections for domestic workers. It’s won state domestic workers’ bill of rights in five states including New York, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Oregon and recently partnered with Care.com to create fair and just standards in the private care sector. The National Alliance is powered by 53 affiliate organizations—plus its first local chapter in Atlanta—of over 15,000 nannies, housekeepers, and caregivers for the elderly in 37 cities and 18 states.