Scope and Contents
Title: Household Workers' Rights records
Date (inclusive): 1982-1985
Collection number: larc.ms.0028
Accession number: 1987/005; 1998/098
Household Workers' Rights
.75 cubic feet (2 boxes)
Labor Archives and Research Center
J. Paul Leonard Library, Room 460
San Francisco State University
1630 Holloway Ave
San Francisco, CA 94132-1722
Languages represented in the collection:
English and Spanish.
Abstract: Consists of materials from the nonprofit organization Household Workers' Rights, including a questionnaire, newsletters, and
Location: Collection is available onsite.
Collection is open for research, with the exception of restricted access to inactive individual registrations of household
workers for reasons of confidentiality.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives and Research Center. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Archives. Permission for
publication is given on behalf of the Labor Archives and Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended
to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], Household Workers' Rights Records, larc.ms.0028, Labor Archives and Research Center,
San Francisco State University.
Material Cataloged Separately
Nineteen photographs from the early 1980s have been removed and placed in the Labor Archives Photograph Collection. Subjects
include: the Union WAGE ten year celebration; organizational meetings and parties; a February 1984 meeting with Debra Dadd,
author of a book on non-toxic alternatives; a demonstration at Oakland City Hall; the Bay Area Labor Theatre; and a Black
A t-shirt printed with a graphic design depicting household workers (1986) has been placed in the memorabilia collection.
Union WAGE (Women's Alliance To Gain Equality) Records, larc.ms.0004, Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco State
The files of the Household Workers' Rights were placed in the Labor Archives and Research Center in January 1987 by Joyce
Maupin, the main staff person; additional materials were donated in 1998 after Maupin's death. Accession numbers 1998/092
California. Industrial Welfare Commission.
Union WAGE (Organization)
Household employees--United States.
Women household employees--United States.
Women household employees--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States.
Household Workers' Rights, a Bay Area non-profit women's association, was organized March 1979 by employee members of the
Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Board #15. In 1976, the IWC had first covered household workers with benefits such as lunch
breaks, overtime pay, and reporting time pay (household worker reports to place of employment but is locked out and thus unable
to work.) Because of the nature and isolation of household work, law enforcement was problematic. Household Workers' Rights,
originally a Union WAGE project, attempted to alleviate some of the problems which were faced by the workers, mostly women
and two-thirds of them minority women.
Their first program had three points emphasizing legal rights: 1) to get employment agencies to advise workers and employers
of laws; 2) to provide legal assistance to workers when necessary; and 3) to draw up contracts which could be presented at
the time of hire. This contract included legal requirements of Wage Order #15, sick leave, vacation pay and holiday pay.
When Union WAGE disbanded in 1982, Household Workers' Rights continued on its own. In January 1984, Household Workers' Rights
became a membership organization with an elected board and member participation in the decision making. At that time the group
organized an employment referral service. A non-toxic environmental housecleaning service was offered, in addition to sponsoring
conferences, compiling a chart in Spanish and English on alternative non-toxic clearners, and conducting workshops on non-toxic
cleaning. A newsletter was published every two months.
In January 1986, the group divided due to financial problems and ideological differences. Only a small number of women, operating
out of an office in Berkeley, continued to concern themselves with a non-toxic cleaning service, putting out the newsletter
and maintaining a referral service.
In addition to Joyce Maupin, who did much of the organizing, fundraising and work on the newsletter, Regina Ryerson was the
group's non-toxic expert and Lucia Diaz was responsible for Spanish outreach and translation.
Scope and Contents
Consists of materials from the nonprofit organization Household Workers' Rights, including a questionnaire, newsletters, and
The questionnaire was modeled after a survey by the Women's Occupational Health Resource Center in New York, and delves into
the specific problems faced by household workers; information collected includes womens' ages, their children's ages, childcare
concerns, length of time household work has been performed and other jobs held. Using diagrams of the human body on which
to point out health concerns, this survey inquires about job injuries, aches and skin problems. Other subjects mentioned are
flu, depression, over-tiredness, medical insurance and sexual harassment. There are 170 responses to this 1982 survey; 40
of which are in Spanish.
The inactive registration forms record information for the referral service. This information includes names (which researchers
are required to keep anonymous), type of work, and desired pay, additional skills such as CPR or animal care, whether the
applicants speak English, whether they have transportation and how far they would travel, what problems they encounter in
household work, and whether they are aware of their rights.
Household Workers' Rights, and
Housecleaners News, span the years 1982-1996; in 1986, the newsletter title was changed to reflect an organizational division. Topics addressed
include household workers in other countries, alternative non-toxic cleaners, the minimum wage hearings and legal aspects
relating to household workers. One issue (April 1983), contains a sample contract.