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Pennsylvania

Organizer: Erica Sklar

About:  In Pennsylvania domestic employers and allies are organizing to support the rights of domestic workers and engaging in campaigns to improve the lives of immigrant and other frontline communities.  Pennsylvania members do this by hosting workshops on best employment practices, spreading the word about resources for employers to support workers such as Alia for for those who employ house cleaners and engaging directly in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania campaigns for worker rights and dignity.  Hand in Hand Pennsylvania works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Domestic Workers Alliance (PDWA).

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Philadelphia Domestic Worker Bill of Rights

Do you employ a nanny, house cleaner, or home attendant? If so, you have legal obligations under the Philadelphia Domestic Worker Bill of Rights that went into effect May 2020. This law is meant to protect and improve the working conditions of the 16,000 of domestic workers residing in Philadelphia regardless of their immigration status.

Legal Requirements and Best Practices

  • Review Philadelphia’s labor law pertaining to domestic workers
    1. Provide a written contract (examples here and here)
    2. Provide rest and meal breaks
    3. Provide paid time off
    4. Provide severance notification
    5. Protect worker privacy and documents
    6. Notify workers of their rights
    7. Protect workers from employer retaliation for exercising their rights 

Are you Hiring or Clarifying Your Employment Relationship?

  • Outline Basic Information

Establish a start date, probationary period, schedule, members of employer families, emergency contact information and worksite location.

  • Establish Open and Respectful Communication

Commit to building a working relationship with clear expectations, open communication, and mutual trust. Establish mutually agreed priorities and rules, work responsibilities and time for check-ins and evaluations.=

  • Define Wages and Human Resources Policies

Establish hourly rate, overtime policy, pay schedule, yearly increase, end of year bonus, reimbursement policies, job termination, severance pay and letters of recommendation.

  • Designate Paid Time Off

Establish paid time off days, including sick days, vacation time, paid holidays and policies for inclement weather and other emergencies. Establish contingency payment plan for long-term emergency situations like the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Create a Healthy Workplace

Ensure that your employee’s health care needs are met, make your home a non-toxic and safe workplace, and establish COVID-19 or other health emergency protocols.

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