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Florida domestic workers to fight for job rights and protections

Imagine what it would be like if you had absolutely no security about your job status. Now imagine what it would be like to work more than the standard 40 hours per week and only earn barely enough to get by. Now imagine having to do this with children to care for and nourish. If it sounds like an untenable situation to, then you know have some small understanding of what domestic workers in Florida and the rest of the nation face on a real-life, day-to-day basis.

Domestic workers include private housekeepers, nannies, cooks, drivers and many other occupations. According to the National Domestic Workers Alliance, many of these hard-working individuals do not enjoy most of the job rights and protections other employees enjoy. Examples include:

-- Exclusion from forming unions or bargaining collectively

-- Exclusion from the laws preventing employment discrimination

-- Exclusion from the Occupational Health and Safety Act

Exclusion from the Family and Medical Leave Act

-- Exclusion from overtime provisions for domestic workers who reside with employers

Further, these workers live in fear of losing their jobs abruptly, or being mistreated in retaliation for seeking job protections.

A group of domestic workers in Miami are planning to fight for their rights and have been organizing and planning for the Domestic Workers Assembly which will occur in July. The assembly is set to address many of the issues domestic workers in Florida must face.

Hopefully, events like the upcoming assembly will continue to draw attention to the unfairness that runs rampant in the field of domestic work. In turn, perhaps that extra attention could create positive changes in the nation's and Florida's wage and hour laws. Florida employment attorneys would support such change and may be able to offer domestic workers advocacy and advice.

Source: WLRN.org, "South Florida Domestic Workers Plan To Address Lack Of Job Protections," June 16, 2016

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