ALEXANDRIA, VA-Do you work as a nanny or house cleaner? If so, here’s some good news. Yesterday, the Virginia House of Delegates passed legislation that adds domestic workers to the state’s Safety and Health Standards as well as the Virginia Workers Compensation Act.
Last Friday, the House also passed the Virginia Human Rights Act, greatly expanding protections against discrimination for domestic workers. The act also revises the definition of an employer so that one or more workers are covered.
“The same workplace safety standards and protections against discrimination should be considered basic rights that are afforded to all workers, regardless of their relationship with their employer or their immigration status,” said Brian Lalor, an employer of domestic workers.
Now workers can know that their workplace must meet safety standards and that they can be free of harassment on the job. For the first time, they are eligible for workers compensation.
Last year, domestic workers were included in Virginia’s minimum wage laws, securing the first labor protections for a majority of the workforce.
Care in Action is an advocacy group for women in the workforce. On the most recent developments, the group’s state director Alexsis Rodgers wrote in a statement, “I want to thank the House of Delegates for doing what’s right by these women. Let’s make sure the Senate does the same.”