Friday, June 08, 2007

The Wrong Way To Solve A Problem

The appropriate fix for bad legislation is not necessarily more legislation. Salty Femme (Saltyfemme?) claims that domestic workers have a uniquely hard time of things because of Federal legislation:

3. Why should domestic workers be legally entitled to specific benefits, such as sick days and severance, when a lot of low-wage workers aren’t?

No right to organize: Unlike other workers, domestic workers are not allowed to form labor unions and cannot organize with other workers to collectively bargain. As a result, domestic workers are often denied basic protections found in most workplaces.
This is an example of treating the symptoms but ignoring the cause. If domestic workers are banned from collectivizing without good reason then wouldn't it make more sense to try to get the ban lifted? The people pushing for the Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights have been so kind as to list the relevant legislation in their citations: the National Labor Relations Act excludes domestic workers from the definition of employee. In order to fix this problem you'd just have to strike out the clause "or in the domestic service of any family or person at his home," from Section 2, paragraph 3 of the act.

Surely that's a much more elegant solution than enacting more legislation. And probably easier to pass as well; the proposed modification looks to me like the kind of thing that gets slipped into legislation all the time.


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