NY Labor Laws
NY Domestic Workers Protected Under Recent NY Labor Laws
NY labor laws protect its workers and set a protocol for New York employers to follow regarding wage payments, minimum wage requirements, overtime compensation, and child labor to name a few. Because state labor laws change from time to time, it is important that employers stay abreast of recent amendments or risk facing possible wage and hour litigation.
Effective November 29, 2010, the Domestic workers’ Bill of Rights was added to the NY labor laws, defining overtime pay, rest days, vacation days and sexual and racial harassment protection. It was signed into law on August 31, 2010, by Governor David Patterson, and it affords substantive labor protections to certain categories of domestic workers. New York is the first state to grant labor rights to domestic workers.
Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights’ Main Provisions
* You are to be paid overtime pay at the FLSA standard of 1.5 times the rate of pay after 40 hours in a workweek
* If you live in employer’s home, you are to be paid overtime of time-and-a-half for any hours worked over a 44 workweek.
* You are entitled to a day of rest for 24 hours every seven days, or overtime pay if you agree to work that day.
* You are entitled at least three paid vacation days a year after one year of work under the same employer.
* You are protected under New York State Human Rights Law now from exemption, and
* A special cause of action has been created for those suffering from sexual and/or racial harassment.
* The new law has directed the commissioner of Labor to study the practicality of extending collective bargaining rights to domestic workers.
* If you work at least 40 hours a week, you are covered by Workers’ Compensation if you are hurt on the job.
It is federal law that if you complain to your employer or the Labor Department about any violations of the above NY labor laws for domestic workers; your employer cannot retaliate against you.
Am I a Classified as a Domestic Worker?
If you work in another person’s home performing domestic duties, such as caring for the elderly, and children, doing laundry, cleaning house, etc…then you are a domestic worker.
The above labor rights and protections for domestic workers in New York do not cover the following: workers employed by an agency, part-time baby sitters in the home of their employers, and all persons who work for a relative, care for a relative, or any companionship services, and any worker who is delivering services under a program funded or administered by federal, state, or local government.
If you have been a domestic worker in New York or anywhere else in the nation, you can see how this is landmark legislation. For the first time in history, domestic workers are being given the same rights as other workers who have been protected under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state labor laws.
If you have any questions regarding NY labor laws, and feel you have been a victim of New York State overtime laws or labor laws violations by your employer, contact a wage-and-hour attorney today.