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4 things Philadelphia families and caregivers should know about the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights

Paid time off, paid sick leave and written contracts are now guaranteed benefits

4 things Philadelphia families and caregivers should know about the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights

On May 1, 2020, the city of Philadelphia joined Seattle and eight states (CA, CT, HI, IL, MA, NV, NY and OR) in enacting a Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. The purpose of the bill is to allow nannies, senior caregivers and other household employees to have a set of guaranteed benefits that many workers in other industries enjoy. Understandably, many child care and senior care workers will have questions about the new benefits they’re receiving and families will want to know about the new responsibilities they have as an employer.


To help make heads and tails of it all, here are four things in the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights that will affect caregivers and families in Philadelphia:


  1. Paid time off

Household employees are now eligible to take up to 40 hours of paid time off (PTO) per year. PTO accrues at 1 hour earned for every 40 hours worked and can be used if an employee is sick or needs personal time away from the job to handle unexpected personal matters. Employees can also use PTO if the family has to unexpectedly change their work schedule or cancel a day of work.


Note: This paid time off is in addition to the 40 hours of unpaid sick time that caregivers in Philadelphia already have. Visit our Pennsylvania state page for more information.


  1. Written contract requirement

When a family hires a caregiver to work in their home, they must provide a written contract that details all of the following items:

  • List of job duties.
  • The employee’s hourly and overtime rate of pay.
  • An expected weekly schedule, including the total hours worked in a week.
  • How the employee will be paid and the payment frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, etc.).
  • How meal and rest breaks are handled.
  • The paid and unpaid leave the employee has.
  • Any paid holidays the employee has.
  • Other benefits the family will provide.
  • Modes of required transportation.
  • Value of housing provided if the employee is a live-in employee.
  • Sleeping periods and personal time for an employee that is a live-in.
  • The duration of the contract.
  • Anything else agreed upon by the family and the caregiver.


Two weeks notice is required to terminate an employment contract (four weeks if a family has a live-in employee) unless there is significant misconduct by the employee.


  1. Meal and rest breaks

Employees are allowed to take an uninterrupted, paid 10-minute rest period for every four consecutive hours they work, and an uninterrupted, paid 30-minute meal break after 5 hours worked. If this is not possible because of the nature of the job, the employee must continue to be paid while they are eating.


  1. Time off for live-in employees

Live-in domestic workers cannot be required to work more than six consecutive days without a 24-hour rest period. This time off does not have to be paid, but employees must be allowed to come and go as they please and have no work responsibilities.


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