Domestic Workers and Their Right to Be Heard: Residential Picketing Makes Visible the Invisible
Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan
affiliation not provided to SSRN
Critical Studies Journal, Vol. 4, No. 112, pp. 1-20, 2011
The right of domestic workers to peacefully picket and protest is guaranteed by the First Amendment, and has been recognized in numerous jurisdictions as a protected right. Peaceful protest in response to oppressive working conditions and unlivable wages is usually considered to be residential picketing for a lawful purpose.
This paper addresses the nature of domestic workers' work as both gendered and racialized. It also highlights the distinction between the relationship domestic workers' have with their employer/homeowner from the absence of this relationship in traditional residential picketing situations. Modern-day domestic workers who are immigrant women of color are emphasized in this paper, as is the intersection between race, class, gender, and immigration status and how the convening of these statuses have produced a group of workers that have historically been exploited. In addition, I analyze the restrictions on residential picketing related to the right to privacy of the employer/homeowner and how that privacy right has historically disenfranchised and burdened women. Lastly, I suggest that should the right to picket an employer's home be limited or removed under time, place, and manner restrictions, domestic workers' speech will be chilled, and workers will likely withdraw from seeking alternative venues to challenge their oppression.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 20
Date posted: June 29, 2011