STATEMENT: New Domestic Workers Legislation Is a Model for Workplace Standards in the 21st Century, Says CAP’s Neera Tanden

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress endorsed new bicameral legislation—the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights—introduced by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). The bill will ensure basic workplace protections for the more than 2 million domestic workers in the United States, most of whom are women of color and immigrants. Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:

Domestic workers in the United States, who are predominantly women of color, have labored in the shadows for far too long. The lawmakers who constructed the last century’s system of workplace protection laws purposefully excluded domestic workers. As a result, domestic workers are too often denied fair wages and benefits, protection against harassment and other forms of discrimination, and a voice on the job.

By introducing the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, Sen. Harris and Rep. Jayapal make clear that they stand with and respect domestic workers. This bill extends essential workplace protections to domestic workers and creates new systems to allow workers to access training, negotiate for fair pay and benefits, and ensure that their rights are enforced—providing a model for upholding high labor standards in the 21st century.

As policymakers advance proposals to enhance standards for workers, it is critical to think through innovative solutions that provide workers with the support, wages, and professional development they need, while also ensuring that costs do not unduly affect the disability community and drive people into institutions. For instance, this legislative proposal includes important provisions to cover additional costs that Medicaid-funded consumers may face as a result of the bill.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202-741-6292.