Domestic Workers

Ordinance: SMC 14.23 Rules: SHRR Chapter 160

Domestic Workers Q & A

Domestic Workers Covid-19 Resources

2024 Domestic Worker Ordinance Model Notice of Rights and Wage Information

Informational Booklet

On July 1, 2018, the City passed the Domestic Workers Ordinance (DWO).

Seattle is the first city in the United States to have a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. This law gives minimum wage, rest break, and meal break rights to domestic workers. It also creates a Domestic Workers Standards Board. The Seattle Office of Labor Standards will oversee this law.

In September 2018, the City also added civil rights for domestic workers to our City's existing Fair Employment Practices law. The Seattle Office for Civil Rights will oversee these protections. Both ordinances begin on July 1, 2019. Current labor standards (like Paid Sick and Safe Time) and civil rights laws provide many rights to domestic workers who are employees.

Domestic Workers

The ordinance covers domestic workers (both employees and independent contractors) who provide paid services to an individual or household in a private home as a nanny, house cleaner, home care worker, gardener, cook, and/or household manager. Domestic Worker Rights - effective July 1, 2019.

1. Payment of Seattle's minimum wage.

  • Domestic workers in Seattle have the right to earn the Seattle minimum wage. See Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance.

2. Provision of meal periods and rest breaks.

  • Domestic workers have the right to a 30-minute, uninterrupted meal period when they work for more than five consecutive hours for the same hiring entity.
  • Domestic workers must be allowed a paid 10-minute uninterrupted rest break for each four consecutive hours of work for the same hiring entity.
  • If a domestic worker's work responsibilities make it impossible or infeasible to take a meal period or rest break, the hiring entity must provide additional compensation for the missed meal period or rest break.

3. Provision of a day of rest after working more than six consecutive days (live-in workers only).

  • Domestic workers who are required to work more than six consecutive days for the same hiring entity have the right to an unpaid 24-hour period of consecutive rest.

4. Retention of original documents or other personal effects.

  • Hiring entities are not allowed to retain a domestic worker's original documents or other personal effects (e.g. passport).


The 2024 Model Notice of Rights and Wage Information is currently available in 26 languages in addition to English. It is available in: Amharic, Burmese, Simplified Chinese, Dari, Farsi, French, Garifuna (Honduran), Garifuna (Nicaraguan), Haitian Creole, Hindi, Japanese, Karen, Karenni, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Malay, Mixteco Alto, Mixteco Baja, Nepali, Oromo, Pashto, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Tigrinya, and Ukranian, Vietnamese.

The Domestic Worker’s Ordinance Informational Booklet, which has information for both hiring entities and domestic workers, is available in 20 additional languages: Amharic, Arabic, Simplified Chinese, French, Garifuna (Honduran), Garifuna (Nicaraguan), Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Oromo, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Tigrinya, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.

To find these Resources, please visit the individual language page under the “Resources & Language Access” section of this website.

Labor Standards

Newsletter Updates


Sign up for the latest updates from Labor Standards

The Office of Labor Standards enforces Seattle’s labor standards ordinances to protect workers and educate employers on their responsibilities.