NY Senate Passes Domestic Worker Bill of Rights

The New York Senate has passed a bill  requiring overtime pay and at least one day off weekly for 200,000 housekeepers, nannies and other domestic workers in the state. The Assembly passed a similar measure last year.

The industry has gone largely unregulated for decades, proponents of the bill said.  The New York Civil Liberties Union applauded the bill as "landmark legislation."

If Gov. David A. Paterson signs the bill, New York would become the first state establishing those rights for household workers.

Overtime pay would be required for eight-hour workdays. Federal minimum wage laws already apply to such workers.

The Senate measure was approved 33 to 28. Unlike the Assembly bill, it guarantees a half-dozen paid holidays, seven sick days and five vacation days annually. Both bills would establish collective bargaining rights.

“New York has long been a leader in protecting the rights of workers. We enacted child labor laws long before the federal government did, were the first to pass labor protections for those toiling in sweatshops, and more than 75 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a former New York State Senator, signed the National Labor Relations Act, sweeping legislation that guaranteed workers’ the right to organize, but which unfortunately excluded domestic workers,” said Senator Diane J. Savino (D-Brooklyn/Staten Island).

Lawmakers will have to reconcile differences.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us