December 7, 2020
A domestic worker is anyone who goes to work in someone else’s private home. It can be a housekeeper, a nanny, a landscaper, a personal chef, a personal trainer, or various other domestic roles. It is important to understand that this type of work puts the laborer in a vulnerable position. Exploitation within the domestic workforce is widespread.
Below is an outline of what makes domestic workers vulnerable.
- Domestic workers are often working in isolation. If a family hires a nanny, the nanny will likely be alone with the children throughout their entire workday. That means that if something challenging arises, they have no one to go to for help. Coworkers are not typical in domestic work, which is a pity because coworkers can provide a tremendous amount of support.
- There is no Human Resources Department. If a domestic worker faces inappropriate behavior, there is nowhere for them to turn. Let’s say a housekeeper faces unwanted sexual advances from someone in the home where she works. Who can she report that to? In many cases, the person advancing on her is the person signing her checks. If she speaks up, she risks losing employment.
- Unpaid overtime is harder to combat. In a home environment, it is much more awkward to refuse to perform work after clocking out. If the homeowner asks a domestic worker for just “one more favor,” it is challenging for that domestic worker to refuse when the person making the request is likely their direct employer.
- Physical abuse is more common. In an office environment, an employer would never be able to get away with striking or otherwise physically abusing an employee. But behind closed doors, domestic workers are vulnerable to all types of abuse and behavior that would be considered wholly unacceptable or even illegal in a professional working environment. In many ways, privacy enables bad behavior.
It is difficult to prosecute private domestic employers, but it is not impossible. If you or a loved one works in a domestic capacity and face any unfair behavior, contact Para Los Trabajadores. We can and will take your case. Don’t wait any longer. Stand up for your rights today.