FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 29, 2023
James Yu (OHR) - (202) 227-1681; [email protected]
Domestic Workers Now Protected from Discrimination Under the DC Human Rights Act Beginning October 1, 2023
The DC Office of Human Rights now guarantees employment protections by accepting claims
(WASHINGTON, DC) - Beginning October 1, 2023, domestic workers are protected under the DC Human Rights Act (DCHRA) with the passage of the Domestic Workers Employment Rights Amendment Act of 2022 (“the Act”). The Act ensures that all domestic workers in the District are entitled to the same rights and protections as their counterparts in other industries, and domestic workers who feel their rights were violated while on the job can now submit claims for discrimination to the DC Office of Human Rights (OHR).
Domestic Worker is defined as an employee(s) who provides services for compensation in private residences. Domestic workers may include those regularly providing in-home childcare such as nannies; elder care such as nursing or other in-home aide; cleaning services; cooking or food preparation; and other related household services. The definition excludes family members; those performing household repairs such as construction or plumbing; workers providing pet-care; or those that provide services on an irregular or as-needed basis.
The Act amends the definition of employers to include those who employ domestic workers in their household, ensuring that domestic workers are protected from discrimination based on any of the 18 protected traits covered under employment. Discriminatory actions include failure to hire someone, subjecting a worker to a hostile work environment, which includes sexual harassment and retaliation for filing a complaint with OHR.
The DCHRA requires all employers to post a notice regarding their employee’s rights under the DCHRA. Because posting may not be possible or desirable to have it posted in a private residence, employers may give their domestic employee(s) a copy of the notice rather than posting it.
OHR’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) poster can be found here.
For an in-depth look at these new domestic worker protections, please view our resources here.
About the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights
The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) was established to eradicate discrimination, increase equal opportunity, and protect human rights for persons who live in, work, or visit the District of Columbia. The agency enforces local and federal human rights laws, including the DC Human Rights Act, by providing a legal process to those who believe they have been discriminated against. OHR also proactively enforces human rights in the District through Director’s Inquiries, which allow it to identify and investigate practices and policies that may be discriminatory.