Justice for Pat Trial: The Verdict is In!

For almost four years now, Pat Francois, DWU member and leader in the domestic workers movement, has been fighting for justice. Yesterday afternoon, the jury delivered its verdict in Pat's case against her former employers, filmmaker Matthew Mazer and sports agent Sheryl Shade, after 8 days in court and almost four years in litigation. We are thrilled to share that Pat has won her claims for unpaid wages and for the assault she suffered at the hands of Matthew Mazer.

For six years, Pat took loving care of Mazer's and Shade's child despite being grossly underpaid and mistreated. In December 2008, Mazer physically assaulted and verbally abused Pat, calling her a "stupid Black b****" and said that he hated her and hoped she would die a "horrible death." For too long, Mazer and Shade refused to be held accountable for their actions.

Through this entire ordeal, Pat worked tirelessly to win justice not only for herself but for domestic workers everywhere. She marched, rallied and lobbied in Albany to win recognition and rights for domestic workers, so that no one else would suffer the same abuse and exploitation.

Pat shared her story countless times so that lawmakers would feel the urgency of providing domestic workers with rights and protections. Thanks to Pat, her courage and that of thousands of domestic workers, New York passed the nation's first Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Finally, domestic workers, otherwise excluded from all other legislation providing labor protections, were recognized as real workers under the law.

Everyday, domestic workers like Pat start their day early in the morning to care for their employers' loved ones and keep their homes healthy and safe. Just treatment in the form of fair wages, benefits and respect is nothing less than what domestic workers deserve for the critical work they do. Pat's case stands as a reminder that the courage and strength of domestic workers will always prevail.

We thank all domestic workers, families, friends and supporters for your love and solidarity. We could not have made it through this arduous journey without you. 

The struggle is far from over. Even this victory is incomplete as the full scope of Pat's suffering has not been accounted for, and other domestic workers are still facing abuse and exploitation. By standing together, we will continue winning until we bring respect once and for all.

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