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5 Responses

  1. RD
    RD April 12, 2010 at 12:43 pm |

    Good post, this is a very important issue.

  2. Chocolate Tort
    Chocolate Tort April 12, 2010 at 3:00 pm |

    I actually just read a student paper and heard a presentation on this topic, so it’s been on my mind. Where I’m from in the Midwest, daycare is the norm and not nannies, so this issue is pretty new to me. The current system strikes me as very problematic, as does a lot of the discussion around it (see: Caitlin Flanagan). I really hope this bill passes; it looks like it would be a significant step toward recognizing the importance of this work and toward respecting the basic labor rights (which are afforded by law to citizens, legal residents, AND undocumented workers), not to mention human rights, of the people who provide this service.

  3. Maud
    Maud April 12, 2010 at 11:59 pm |

    It’s good to see coverage of this issue here; thanks.

  4. Z S
    Z S April 13, 2010 at 12:09 pm |

    Thank you for raising the profile of this issue.

    I am a British person living in the US and I feel frankly sick when I think about the way American domestic workers are treated. If one of my domestic-employee-having British friends treated said employee the way most of my comparable American friends do – not knowing their last name or their legal status, not caring if they get sick, paying a slave wage – they would be subject to massive social opprobrium and even exclusion.

    I think it is partly a holdover from slavery – the mindset that it’s OK to treat people like that if they’re not really people, due to lamentable flaws such as being brown or female – and partly a nasty byproduct of the whole rugged individualism thing (commendable in its other manifestations, the American dream) – the mindset that anyone can make it, hence any person who has not bettered themselves deserves whatever they get, because obviously, the dice aren’t loaded by factors like education, race, gender, poverty etc, and if they weren’t so lazy and/or dumb they’d work really hard, and be a successful homeowning businesswoman by age 26 and THEN we would rightly be respectful toward them, but they aren’t, so we the Privileged (TM) get to treat them like dogs.

    Actually, most of my British friends wouldn’t even treat their dogs that way.

  5. Tlönista
    Tlönista April 14, 2010 at 3:57 pm |

    Thank you so much for posting this; it’s great news! Domestic workers are an extremely vulnerable group for so many reasons, and I have to say, employers can only be counted on to provide the absolute minimum work standard required by law—so it’s crucial to require a minimum work standard that’s actually fair.

    In my province, domestic workers are covered under the ESA (Employment Standards Act). There’s a domestic workers’ rights group here in Toronto called INTERCEDE—their web page seems to be down right now, though.

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