Understanding the Seattle Domestic Workers Ordinance

In 2018 the Seattle City Council passed the Seattle Domestic Workers Ordinance, the first municipal law of its kind in the country. The law increased protections for Seattle domestic workers and created more guidance for domestic employers to understand how to fairly compensate workers for their work.

The Seattle Domestic Worker Ordinance provides:

  • Domestic workers have the right to earn the Seattle minimum wage pay.
  • Domestic workers have the right to an uninterrupted meal period and breaks.
  • Live-in domestic workers, who work more than six consecutive days, the right to an unpaid day of rest.
  • Domestic workers have the right to retain their personal documents and effects (e.g. passport), and protection from retaliation.
  • The creation of the Domestic Workers Standards Board.

Resources to help understand the ordinance: 

Seattle Office of Labor Standards Q&A 

  • Model Notice of Rights
  • Domestic Worker Ordinance Webinar for Employers
  • Hand in Hand created these short videos, with the Seattle Office of Labor Standards, to break down aspects of the Domestic Workers Ordinance.
    • The first video in our series goes over what workers are covered by the DWO, and who is excluded from coverage, by explaining the term “casual basis”

Part 1: Casual Basis PSA


Part 2: Casual Basis PSA


Part 3: Casual Basis PSA