New York City is a leading force in the global economy, but it couldn't be without the 200,000 domestic workers who sustain the city's families and homes. Domestic workers enable New Yorkers to work and have leisure time knowing that their children, elderly, and homes are taken care of. Domestic workers also enable their employers to meet the demanding hours required for the smooth functioning and productivity of the professional sectors. Domestic work forms the invisible backbone of New York City's economy.
This groundbreaking report shines a spotlight on the hidden workforce of domestic workers who keep the city's economic engine running every day. It delivers legal, historical, anecdotal, and unprecedented survey-based information. The data are the result of the first ever industry-wide analysis of domestic workers by domestic workers, based on 547 worker surveys, 14 worker testimonies and interviews with 7 employers. An overview of exclusionary labor laws illustrates the explicit legislative discrimination against domestic workers, while an economic history of domestic work in the U.S. and analysis of present day global pressures that impact the industry illustrate structural dynamics that foster worker abuse.