The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and Care.com, along with partner organization Hand in Hand, commit to raise standards in the domestic care sectors through promulgation of the Fair Care Pledge (the Pledge). The Pledge was created based on extensive input from domestic workers and high road employers around the country and requires employers of housecleaners, nannies, and home attendants to commit to three things: fair pay, paid time off, and clear expectations.
Leveraging its role as the dominant marketplace and go-to resource for care services, Care.com is partnering with NDWA and Hand in Hand to launch a major dissemination campaign for the Pledge and will promote awareness, encourage adoption, and monitor as effectively as possible the implementation of the Pledge and its underlying components among Care.com users and the public at large. For the broader public, NDWA will work with Hand in Hand and academic partners to undertake a bicoastal study of domestic employers.
NDWA will also use its role as the institutional voice for domestic workers to give the Pledge credibility for labor conditions in these sectors and will promote the Pledge among its allies in the labor and social justice movements. Furthermore, it will work with Hand in Hand to generate Fair Care marketing materials, resources, and tools for employers and workers.
Care.com will leverage its visibility and influence among families that employ domestic workers, particularly child care providers; dedicate internal tech and creative resources; and generate resources for employers, such as a checklist for high road employers, a guide to creating a work agreement, in-person My Home is Someone's Workplace workshops for new parents, and discussion forums on topics like paid time off, the affordability challenge of providing living wages, and the role of work authorization in meeting standards.
Over time, Care.com and NDWA will experiment with multiple messages, various levels of content, and different distribution channels to increase awareness and adoption of the Pledge. While the initial wave of materials will be targeted at employers, NDWA will work with its affiliates as well as Care.com to develop comparable materials for domestic workers, which can help domestic workers leverage the Pledge to initiate conversations about job quality in a way that is credible and non-threatening.
June 2015: Landing pages, FAQs, social media blitz, introductory video with Ai-jen Poo and Sheila Marcelo, and pop-up banners
Q3 2015: Additional digital content, possible merchandise (stickers, onesies, etc.), and creative video (possibly with celebrity surrogate)
Q4 2015: Additional digital content and resources, possible integration of Fair Care seal/badge into Care.com user profile depending on how the user experience goes, and survey of current pledge signers
Q1 2016: Ongoing online and offline dissemination
Q2 2016: Survey of Care.com participants to gauge awareness of pledge and track practices related to compensation, paid time off and work agreements
Q3 2016: Additional digital content and resources and engage a broader swath of the on-demand economy in a conversation about job standards, through meetings with other social justice organizations, engagement on the B corporation standards for sharing economy companies, and other mechanisms
Q4 2016: Additional digital and offline resources
Q1 2017: Additional digital and offline resources
Q2 2017: Survey of Care.com participants to gauge awareness of pledge and track practices related to compensation, paid time off, and work agreements and written publication of lessons learned
The United States confronts a large and growing demand for domestic care as working-age women are employed outside the home, baby boomers are retiring, and modern medicine enables people to live longer. Yet job quality in the domestic care sectors is highly variable. This workforce, overwhelmingly comprised of women of color, is often excluded from basic labor law protection. While many employers can be respectful and supportive of their domestic workers, many workers still face low wages with few benefits. Many families want to do the right thing as employers but need the language and tools to do that just as the rise of conscious consumerism has driven a range of products and services from Fair Trade coffee to LEED-certified buildings.
In addition, the National Domestic Workers Alliances qualitative research suggests that many caregivers feel awkward or uncomfortable speaking up for themselves, given the intimate nature of the work they perform for their employers. Improving the economic status of these workers and their families would significantly reduce gender, race, and class inequality in the United States. Furthermore, promoting a relationship of mutual dignity and respect between household employers and domestic workers leads to better quality and more consistent care.