Even with new labor protections in place, Massachusetts au pairs still find themselves vulnerable due to the lack of agency supervision and the program’s emphasis on family membership and “cultural exchange.”
Before, during the COVID-19 era, and continued to today, Filipino care workers are at the frontlines of assisted living facilities, residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs) and as personal attendants to chronically ill and differently abled people in the San Francisco/Bay Area. Because the caregiving industry has stagnated as an under resourced sector of American healthcare, the care workers within it suffer from a host of labor violations. Yet, caregivers have innovated their ability to care for one another.
A recent book reckons with the “moral bargain” that provides protections for some at the expense of others.
The posts in this forum on visas for immigrant careworkers explore possibilities for policies that afford full labor protections and social inclusion for a system that serves both the providers and recipients of care.
Temporary visa programs leave participants at the mercy of their employers, and therefore susceptible to abuse. Home care workers hoping to enforce their rights have two options: complain to the Department of Labor or pursue private litigation
Caught up between the ambiguous migration regulations of family membership and cultural exchange, au pairs find themselves in precarious positions concerning their paid and unpaid labor
Employment law’s limited view of the migrant care worker merely as an employee defies Immigration law’s acknowledgement of the social need of care workers. By characterizing migrant care workers as isolated employees, Temporary Foreign Worker Programs dissociate care workers from their own social relationships.
Second Working Papers Seminar Series 2023-2024 Communities of Care featuring Valerie Francisco-Menchavez and Grazielle Valentim, with commentaries by Anju Mary Paul and Pallavi Banerjee