Domestic worker rights sought in Colorado
Friday, December 03, 2010
- Organization: Bloomberg Businessweek
Nannies, housekeepers and other domestic workers in Colorado say they often work long hours for less than minimum wage, with no overtime, breaks or even protection from abuse, according to a study released Friday by the University of Colorado-Denver.
A survey of 410 of the state's estimated 20,000 domestic workers also uncovered a disturbing difference in how white and non-white housekeepers are paid and treated. "Although they're vitally important -- taking care of our children, our homes, cooking our food -- they remain invisible, hidden," said CU-Denver political science professor Tony Robinson, who led the first study of Colorado's domestic workers. Robinson and some graduate students teamed with an immigrant workers' advocacy group in Denver, El Centro Humanitario, and posted Craigslist ads to find domestic workers from 25 counties for the survey. The advocates want to see Colorado become the second state, after New York, to enact a domestic workers' rights measure. California lawmakers passed a similar measure in 2006, but it was vetoes by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Colorado survey revealed a grim workplace for nannies, housekeepers, cooks, elderly caretakers and other domestic help. (click on link to read full story)