English

T-243-2018

 Protection to domestic work

The reflection was made when studying a acción de tutela  filed by a domestic employee, who was referred by her former employer by social networks of "having stolen a blouse". The worker received "messages with aggressive, disqualifying and even threatening content" from people close to her former employer. The Constitutional Court recalled that according to Article 59  the  Código Sustantivo del Trabajo, the creation of negative lists by employers, understood as the dissemination of information of their former workers that imply subsequent limitations of their access to the labor market , they are forbidden. This, in order to safeguard their fundamental rights to personal and family privacy, to the good name, and to honor.

When studying the specific case, the Court determined that there was a current lack of object, since the publication that attacked the fundamental rights of the worker was removed from digital social networks. However, the Constitutional Court took advantage of the  discussion to make some considerations about the stigmatization that historically have suffered those who perform domestic work.

The ruling, with a presentation by Judge Diana Fajardo Rivera, incorporated figures from the International Labor Organization (ILO), which shows that "worldwide 83% of domestic workers are women, and in Latin America that number rises to 95%. In fact, historically, housework has been assigned to women and carried out, often without any remuneration, which is why it has become a job that is not valued socially. "

The Constitutional Court assures that in spite of the important work carried out daily by domestic workers, which directly affects the quality of life of their employers, this population group has been "traditionally stigmatized, from a logic of social classes, and associated to concepts that without a doubt threaten the human dignity of women, as well as the image they have of themselves ". After describing the problems of this population of workers, the Constitutional Court makes "a call to solidarity among women, to the expansion of relationships of help among all people, especially if they belong to the same gender, and invites the dissemination of messages from union and commitment for the struggle against oppressive discourses of fundamental rights.