New York lawmakers approved the first law in the nation granting workplace rights to domestic workers, including coverage by laws against workplace sexual harassment, temporary disability benefits, unemployment insurance, and even overtime. Domestic workers, such as nannies and housekeepers, are estimated to make up roughly 200,000 workers in the New York City metropolitan area. Domestic workers have been subject to employers’ exploitation and abuse, and have had no recourse under New York labor laws. Now, these workers will be protected under New York law. NY Times
Under the new law, Nannies, housekeepers and companions to the sick and elderly would get overtime pay after a 40-hour work week. Those workers that live in their employers’ home will get overtime pay after 44 hours. Overtime will be paid at 1.5 times a worker’s normal wage rate. The law guarantees at least 24 consecutive hours off weekly and three paid days off yearly, starting after one year. Employers will be subject to state law for complaints of sexual harassment as well as New York’s minimum wage provisions. The federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, the same as New York state, already applies. The law will take effect 90 days after signing, providing time to notify employers.
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