An indigenous domestic worker’s journey inspires this intimate yet universal portrait of family, memory and love. In ROMA, Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón delivers a vivid, emotional portrait of a domestic worker, Cleo, which asks us to explore how we can make a difference for the women who care for our families and our homes: the real-life Cleos everywhere.

2.5 million

Domestic workers in the United States

70% are paid less than

$13/Hr

65%

Have no health insurance

Domestic workers are the unsung heroines of our childhoods and families. They are nannies, house cleaners, and care workers — mostly women of color and immigrants. Despite their important roles, their work often goes unrecognized and their industry unregulated. Take action and help us shift the narrative.

Cleo's love for the children she cared for reminded me of the love I felt for the children I had to care for throughout the years.

– Rosa Sanluis

Roma is full of memories that show us the love, friendship and strength of the women, who -- in spite of the challenges -- keep going.

– Doris Tapia

I looked at Cleo and said, “this is what we do.”

– Jacqui Orie

This film shows what nannies and domestic workers mean in the lives of children and vice versa.

– Reina Gomez

You Can Help Improve Working Conditions for Domestic Workers.

For Supporters

Take Action

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Donate a Year-Long Membership to a Domestic Worker

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support the domestic workers bill of rights

For employers

Actions you can take in your workplace

01

Fair Pay

Everyone deserves a living wage -- not just a minimum wage. In most places, the minimum wage is not high enough to sufficiently support workers and their families. 70% of domestic workers are paid less than $13 an hour and most do not receive pension benefits or health insurance. So what does fair pay look like?

02

Clear
Expectations

Open and respectful communication is the foundation for the relationship between clients and domestic workers.

03

Paid
Time Off

Everyone deserves benefits. Our newest service Alia makes it easy for employers to provide benefits — like sick days and vacation days of the worker’s choosing — to the person who cleans their home. Doing the right thing is easy with this convenient service.

For Domestic Workers

Get Started

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Become a member

Sign up for our NDWA membership program in order to access benefits, resources, and a community of nannies, house cleaners, and home care workers like you.

Join our community

​Sign up to get connected with the National Domestic Workers Alliance. We’ll send you resources and ways to get involved.

01

Fair Pay

Everyone deserves a living wage – not just a minimum wage. In most places, the minimum wage is not high enough to sufficiently support workers and their families. 70% of domestic workers are paid less than $13 an hour and most do not receive pension benefits or health insurance. So what does fair pay look like?

Pay reliably

Create a mutually agreed-upon schedule and don’t pay your employee late.

Pay for Overtime

Best practice is time-and-a-half after 8 hours a day and/or 40 hours a week.

Pay a living wage

Hand in Hand recommends $15-$20/hour. Take into account where you live, if the person is doing extra work, and if they have a long commute.

02

Clear Expectations

Open and respectful communication is the foundation for the relationship between clients and domestic workers.

Here are some tips for setting clear expectations:
  • Tip #1: Clear expectations start at the hiring process
  • Tip #2: Make a work agreement together now & update it as work changes
  • Tip #3: Regular check-ins and an open door
  • Tip #4: Feedback: Discuss the good & bad; focus on problem-solving together
  • Tip #5: Remember to say hello & regularly communicate with respect
03

Paid Time Off

Everyone deserves benefits. Our newest service Alia makes it easy for employers to provide benefits — like sick days and vacation days of the worker’s choosing — to the person who cleans their home. Doing the right thing is easy with this convenient service.

Currently, this service is only offered for house cleaners but it will be expanding to other services in the future.

How to use alia’s service:
  • #1: Find your cleaner or invite them to Alia
  • #2: Set up your monthly contribution. Your cleaner will see Alia's matching contribution by January 2019.
  • #3: Your cleaner receives all the contributions from their clients, and manages their own benefits.

Rosa Sanluis

Rosa Sanluis, originally from Mexico, was a house cleaner for almost 15 years and is now a domestic worker organizer for Fuerza del Valle in Texas.

With very few exceptions, I had never seen a film in which the protagonist was a Mexican domestic worker like me, and that the story was so real instead of falling into the typical stereotypes. I saw myself reflected in Cleo to the point that it felt like I was seeing my own life on the big screen.

The story of Roma reminded me of years and years working cleaning houses. When I first arrived in this country, I had to live in the house where I worked because I had no money to pay my own rent. Cleo's love for the children she cared for reminded me of the love I felt for the children I had to care for throughout the years.

" One way or another, we can all see ourselves in Roma. "

Not only because there are over two million domestic workers in the United States, but because millions more are children or grandchildren of a domestic worker or were raised by one. At the end of the day, the people who take care of us when we are growing up play a big role in shaping who we are today.

Doris Tapia

Doris Tapia, originally from Peru, has been a nanny in New York City for almost a decade. She is also a leader with the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

" Roma is full of memories that show us the love, friendship and strength of the women, who -- in spite of the challenges -- keep going. "

The incredible bond that exists between the nanny, the children, and her employers is so profound and strong that it just can’t be explained with words alone.

From the moment that Cleo wakes the children up in the morning until they go to sleep, she does it all with so much patience, love and goodness. She’s always thinking about all the chores in the house and the school schedules, until night time and it’s finally time to rest. Although she’s exhausted, she takes a little time to take care of herself and her body. The beautiful unconditional friendship she shares with her fellow domestic worker makes the busy day more bearable.

As a single mother, I see the power that we women have, that in the absence of a partner we do not break. There are moments of loneliness, of sadness, of fears, of sobbing -- but our children are the motivation to get us up every day, our strength that makes us be super women and face everything that needs to be faced.

Jacqui Orie

Jacqui Orie lives in Yonkers in New York, has been a nanny for 18 years, and an active member of National Domestic Workers Alliance for nearly two years.

" I looked at Cleo and said, “this is what we do.” "

The love that she showed those kids, it wasn’t just a job for her. I really relate to that. She loved those children. A lot of us have children that we don’t get to see because we’re taking care of other people’s children. And of course, women go to corporate America and don’t get to see their children. But they of course make money and benefits. We work for very little and we sometimes sacrifice our own lives.

There are good employers out there who value their employees. Although there are many workers being exploited, there are people out there who care about us. Our lives and the work that we do are becoming more visible. I love that the director took the time to make a movie about domestic work, because domestic work is valuable.

We just love what we do! If employers would take the time to learn about domestic work and the history of it -- maybe they just don’t know! -- they could learn how to better treat us.

Reina Gomez

Reina is a mother from Honduras who came to South Florida nearly 15 years ago and is a active member of the Miami Workers Center. She works as a full time domestic worker.

" This film shows what nannies and domestic workers mean in the lives of children and vice versa. "

Many workers like me leave our children behind in our home countries, but when we get to the houses where we work, these children fill that space in our hearts. We take care of them as if they were our children. I have the pleasure of working with three families. With the first one, I stood by my employer through her divorce; with the second family, my employer trusted me enough to share the news of her pregnancy with me before everyone else and I feel like I’m going to be an aunt; and the girls of the third family always do as I say because I spend a lot of time with them. I am fortunate to work with these three families who respect me, love me and treat me with dignity.