A new law protecting domestic workers has gone into effect in New York State, guaranteeing expanded rights for these employees. After campaigning for the most basic protections, like paid vacation and sick days, overtime pay and other basic rights that most employees take for granted, domestic workers are finally gaining well-deserved employment rights.
The new law requires that workers be paid for all hours worked beyond 40 hours in a week, a requirement that previously did not apply to domestic workers. The new law also provides for basic protection against sexual harassment and hostile work environment, and provides recourse for unlawful termination in violation of this law.
While the law does extend important protections to domestic workers, it is by no means comprehensive. The law protects workers from certain discrimination, based on national origin, religion or sex but does apply the broader protections of New York State law on age discrimination or sexual orientation discrimination.
The law is a step forward for domestic workers, who are often put in difficult work situations due to the intimate nature of their arrangements. But, there is still a long way to go in creating true equality for domestic workers. We urge our leaders in the New York State Senate and Assembly to push for further rights for the state’s domestic workers.