Domestic Workers Ordinance

On September 17, 2019, Seattle City Council passed the Domestic Workers Ordinance, which amends Seattle's Fair Employment Practices Ordinance, Seattle Municipal Code, Chapter 14.04. The amendments extend employment discrimination protections to domestic workers, including independent contractors. The Seattle Office for Civil Rights will begin enforcement on July 1, 2019. 

Why was this law passed?

The labor provided by domestic workers is an important contribution to Seattle and enables others to participate in the workforce. An estimated 33,000 domestic workers are in Seattle, including many women, immigrants, and people of color.

Due to the isolated nature of their work, domestic workers are often vulnerable and at risk of experiencing inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment. They may not know how to get help and may be afraid to speak out or complain. Additionally, many hiring entities are unaware of their responsibilities under the law. 

Who is covered by this law?

Domestic workers include employees and independent contractors, hourly and salaried employees, full-time, part-time and temporary workers. Discrimination laws prohibit all forms of discrimination, which includes sexual harassment.

Other protections for domestic workers

On July 23, 2019, Seattle City Council also voted to pass a Domestic Workers Ordinance that provides labor standards protections for domestic workers and establishes a Domestic Workers Standards Board. These laws will be enforced by the Seattle Office of Labor Standards beginning July 1, 2019. To learn more, visit their website or call their office at (206) 256-5219. 

For more information:

Ordinance 125668