Fair Work, Clean Homes
A Campaign to Transform the Residential Housecleaning Industry
Led by a committee of housecleaner worker leaders who are experts on their own industry, this campaign seeks to remedy the labor rights violations that characterize the residential housecleaning industry. Housecleaners are uniting to improve awareness of and compliance with existing labor laws. Together with employers and other allies, we seek to promote dignified and fair working conditions in California’s residential housecleaning industry.
The Largest Sector in the Domestic Work Industry:
While nearly two million households rely on domestic work, over half – 54% – of those households report hiring for housecleaning services. This makes housecleaning the largest category of domestic work performed in California.
The structure of the industry is varied, ranging from individual housecleaners that work on their own to housecleaners who are contracted by referral agencies, formal housecleaning companies, or labor contractors who organize informal crews of housecleaners – these informal third-party labor contractors are often referred to as “dueñas de ruta” or “owners of the route.”
A Common Pattern of Violations:
Housecleaners report a similar trend of violations in the industry that includes: low wages, wage theft of minimum wage and overtime, failure to pay state-mandated sick time, health and safety hazards and workplace injuries, and missed meal and rest breaks, among others.
Our Strategy to Change the Industry:
- Worker to worker outreach
- Education of employers, including housecleaning companies, agencies and labor contractors that hire housecleaners
- Wage claims and legal action
- Direct action and community mobilization
- Storytelling through earned and social media
- Promotion of fair and dignified standards for the housecleaning industry, including use of the new Alia Platform
Ways to Support the Fair Work, Clean Homes Campaign:
ONE: Educate Yourself: the first step is to know your rights as a worker and your obligations as an employer.
- Learn about labor laws and the rights of housecleaners
- Make sure you have a written contract with your employer
TWO: Be a High Road Employer: whether you are an individual homeowner or you own your own housecleaning company, we all must make sure we are treating our workers fairly and with dignity.
- Sign the Fair Care Pledge
- Make sure you are paying fairly and following the law
- Check out Hand in Hand: Domestic Employers Network for more information
THREE: Sign Up for Alia: Alia is a new portable benefits platform that allows employers to make a voluntary contribution to their housecleaner for important benefits that we all deserve such as paid time off, life insurance and forms of health insurance.