By Sal Gentile
New York Gov. David Paterson signed the nation’s first-ever law protecting the rights of domestic workers on Tuesday, offering guaranteed overtime and safeguards against discrimination and sexual harassment to a largely invisible workforce of over half a million.
“Today we correct an historic injustice by granting those who care for the elderly, raise our children and clean our homes the same essential rights to which all workers should be entitled,” Paterson said.
The bill, which has inspired a similar measure in California, extends the most far-reaching workplace protections in the nation to New York’s nannies and in-home workers. Those protections include a guarantee of overtime pay, three days of rest a year and the extension of disability benefits to domestic workers.