Seattle approves new rights for nannies, domestic workers

SEATTLE (AP) — Nannies, house cleaners and other domestic workers in Seattle would gain new labor protections under legislation passed by city leaders.

The City Council on Monday unanimously approved a so-called “bill of rights” that ensures domestic workers receive minimum wage, rest and meal breaks and other rights.

Eight states have passed similar legislation, including New York, Oregon and Illinois. Seattle is believed to be the first city to do so.

The ordinance would create a panel of employers and workers to come up with recommendations on wage standards, retirement and health care benefits and other issues. It would also prevent employers from keeping a worker’s personal documents.

The new rules would apply to those working in private homes, including independent contractors and part-time workers.

Advocates estimate there are about 33,000 domestic workers in Seattle.