NVP worked in partnership with members of the Connecticut Statewide Domestic Worker Coalition (that includes the Office of Catholic Social Justice Ministry of the Archdiocese of Hartford, the Connecticut Catholic Conference, the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the Universalist-Unitarian Society East, the Brazilian Workers Center, United Action and the Service Employees International Union 1199 New England) to win passage of a Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, House Bill 6931, during the Connecticut legislature’s 2019 session.
The Bill extends generally accepted workers rights’ protections (the right to a minimum wage, the right to protection from sexual harassment, the right to a day off after 6 days of work, etc.) to the majority immigrant, majority women of color workforce laboring as domestic workers in Connecticut. With an estimated 40,000 domestic workers in Connecticut, we believe that uplifting the dignity of the job and respect for the women (and men) who do the job will improve the lives of thousands of families in our state.
On February 21, 2019, over 20 personal care aides, nannies, housekeepers, home health-care workers and other domestic workers shared their heart-wrenching stories at a public hearing sponsored by the Legislature’s Labor and Public Employee Committee. Committee Co-chairs Representative Porter and Senator Kushner were so moved by the testimony that they decided to add additional rights to the bill, making House Bill 6931 even stronger than originally drafted.
On March 19, 2019, the stronger version of the bill was passed out of committee with a majority vote! It went on to win approval by the Appropriations Committee. That was the end of the road for the bill this year.
We intend to spend the rest of 2019 encouraging more domestic workers to join the fight for their rights and then return for another round in the legislative fight for the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights in 2020.