A brief history and mission of the Domestic Worker’s Rights Campaign:
El Centro launched the Domestic Worker’s Rights Campaign to research, analyze, and bring light to the crimes, injustices, and abuses experienced by Colorado domestic workers, nannies, home care workers, and house cleaners. Although exploitation of these workers are far from uncommon, crimes such as workplace exploitation, sub-minimum wages, and even physical abuses are often unreported because they occur behind closed doors and because domestic workers are excluded from major, legal protections.
Domestic workers are excluded from the Title VII Sexual Harassment claims, which leaves them extremely vulnerable to sexual abuse from their employers, and they are also excluded from the National Labor Relations Act, which guarantees workers the rights to organize. Because of the lack of legal protection for domestic workers, El Centro has reached out to the community, organized domestic workers, and advocated for legislation that will ensure the most basic, employment protections for domestic workers in Colorado. The goal of the Domestic Worker’s Alliance is to pass a Colorado “Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights” which will be modeled off similar efforts in states like New York.
To further promote awareness and understanding of the challenges and hardships facing domestic workers, El Centro has formed partnerships with the University of Colorado at Denver, Denver University, and Regis University to facilitate research studies, publications, and public events to educate the general public. El Centro strives to form community coalitions, share mutual strengths, build new alliances, and maximize the chances of passing a Colorado Domestic Worker Bill of Rights.
On the Road to Justice…
When El Centro first launched the Domestic Worker’s Organizing Campaign, there were only 6 active women participating at the Denver center. Today however, there are 16 active leaders between in both the Denver and Aurora center, along with over 120 domestic workers engaged with El Centro.
In 2011, El Centro laid a foundation for staff and worker leaders for a Domestic Worker’s Campaign. The initial goal was to train 10 women leaders to become surveyors for the first ever national survey of domestic workers. As a result, the women leaders completed 150 surveys of domestic workers in 5 different counties in Colorado. Three staff leaders and one worker leaders even participated on a national level by attending the national congress of Domestic Workers and the National Domestic Workers Alliances (NDWA)’s Sol Retreat in October 2011. This body of work culminated with the publication of HOME ECONOMICS: the Invisible and Unregulated World of Domestic Work.
El Centro’s Domestic Worker’s Campaign has also lead to the publication of On The Job With Domestic Workers Worker Study by Dr. Tony Robinson, a professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Colorado Denver. This publication features a collection of surveys and stories from over 500 domestic workers and served to expand the awareness and visibility of the plight and struggles that surround domestic workers. These various accomplishments have laid the groundwork for a deeper involvement in the Domestic Worker’s Campaign and helped recruit activists and members to support the campaign.
We continue to conduct outreach in the community, offer job skills training and promote community events and connections, growing the base of domestic workers as members and promoting the empowerment and leadership of domestic workers to be active agents of change for global justice.
DOMESTIC WORKERS ARE INVOLVED
- Leadership training offered by Centro
- Local and National campaigns on immigration justice through NDWA and our local partners
- Local and National campaigns for workers’ rights.