"I’ve been a proud nanny and housekeeper for the past 15 years. My last full-time job lasted six and a half years. In December 2008, it came to a violent end when I was physically abused by my employer.
I stayed in the job because I had bills to pay and my family depends on me. The little girl that I was taking care of is a wonderful little girl. She needed me as much as I needed the job.
The work that domestic workers do is very important. We do our work so that employers can do theirs. I am the voice of 200,000 of us who give our hearts and our health to take care of New York’s families.
I’m asking for your support. It’s been more than three years and justice still hasn’t been served. This is about justice not only for myself but for other abused domestic workers who have been discriminated against and treated unjustly."
- Patricia Francois, NY domestic worker
In 2010, after six years of organizing, the New York State Legislature passed the nation’s first Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Finally, domestic workers, otherwise excluded from all other legislation providing labor protections, were recognized as real workers under the law. The New York Domestic Workers Bill of Rights ensures basic labor protections, including overtime pay, paid days off, and protection from discrimination and harassment.
But now, despite the hard-won recognition of domestic workers, Patricia has spent the last three and a half years in litigation against director Matthew Mazer and sports agent Sheryl Shade, her former employers. They have refused to be held accountable for their actions.
When Patricia tried to protect the little girl she cared for from verbal abuse by her father, Patricia’s employer Matthew Mazer, he called her a “stupid Black b****” and said that he hated her and hoped she would die a “horrible death.” No one should face this kind of abuse.
Before the New York Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, too many stories like Patricia’s went unaddressed and untold. Now, it is time for people across the United States to stand up for the domestic workers who make all other work possible.
On behalf of Patricia, Domestic Workers United is asking you to raise your voice against the injustices suffered by Pat and so many domestic workers like her. Send a strong message to Matthew Mazer and Sheryl Shade: we will no longer tolerate abuse and exploitation and you must answer for violating Pat’s dignity and rights.
After three and a half years of evading justice, it’s time that you take responsibility for your actions.
Domestic workers care for the most important elements of their employers’ lives. That’s why in 2010, New York State recognized the significance of this workforce by passing the nation’s first Domestic Workers Bill of Rights and guarantee important benefits and protections. Domestic workers are no longer invisible, and abusive employers will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
Pat deserves justice.