California Domestic Workers Coalition

The James Irvine Foundation

The work of nannies, house cleaners, and home care workers — known as domestic workers — is indispensable to the lives of millions of California families and the work that makes other work possible. Yet these essential workers often negotiate hazardous conditions, like the higher risk of COVID-19 transmission, or work in the aftermath of wildfires, while lacking safety and health protections afforded those in other professions.

This fall, PBS will air “Dignidad: California Domestic Workers’ Journey for Justice,” a documentary on the California Domestic Workers Coalition (CDWC)’s fight to protect domestic workers. We spoke to Kimberly Alvarenga, Director of the CDWC, and Socorro Diaz, steering committee member and a domestic worker for more than 20 years, about the challenges workers face and their movement for change. *Socorro spoke in Spanish, with Kimberly translating.

Their message to those hiring domestic workers? Recognize your home as a workplace and make it one that values care.