Paid and unpaid care: Marriage, equality, and domestic workers

Elizabeth Brake

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter argues that relationships between paid caregivers and care recipients should be eligible for equivalent legal protections to other adult caring relationships. Care workers (or intimate workers, or domestic workers) are a vulnerable group; in law, they are not fully protected as workers or as family members, although they often form close, reciprocal caring relationships with the people they care for. While some legal theorists have recently addressed their rights as workers, this chapter considers their eligibility for rights as family members. It extends my earlier arguments for marriage equality, that marriage law (or a marriage- like law with reduced legal entitlements which I call 'minimal marriage') should protect a wider variety of relationship types than law currently does, on grounds of equal treatment. After reviewing these earlier arguments, I make the case for their application to care workers, addressing both theoretical and practical objections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhilosophical Foundations of Children's and Family Law
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780198786429
StatePublished - Apr 19 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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