The Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights was designed to protect those who are employed as maids, cooks, chauffeurs, nannies, companions for the elderly, and butlers. The Bill of Rights is composed of various laws specific to domestic workers.
Employers have a legal obligation to ensure the rights of the domestic workers they hire are assured. These rights include fair pay including overtime, insurance, workers’ compensation, and avoidance of harassment or abuse.
For the workers, the Bill of Rights is an essential part of their personal and professional life. For this reason, it is important all domestic workers know and understand their rights and protect themselves from unfair labor.
Some of the highlights of the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights include:
- Fair pay at the rate at least minimum wage with time and a half paid for hours worked over 40 in a calendar week, or 44 hours for workers that live on the premises
- A period of rest of at least 24 hours every seven days for workers, unless employees agree to work their off day then pay must be at an overtime rate
- After one year of service, workers must receive at least three days of paid vacation
- Domestic workers are protected under the NY State Human Rights Laws with a special cause of action for domestic workers who undergo harassment based on gender, race, religion, or sexual harassment
It is important for all workers and those that employ domestic workers to understand the laws that govern the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights. The Department of Labor has the specific documentation related to domestic worker rights for both the worker and the employer.