Aug 31, 2010 - "Domestic Workers Make History in New York" Labor Notes

Mark Brenner

Domestic workers gathered at the foot of the Harriet Tubman memorial in Harlem today to celebrate New York’s groundbreaking domestic workers legislation, which the governor signed into law at a nearby community center. Deloris Wright told the crowd of fellow domestic workers, supporters, and reporters, “Today is about generations of domestic workers that came before and those who are still to come.”

Wright is a member of Domestic Workers United (DWU), the organization that spearheaded the legislation.

The new law guarantees domestic workers time-and-half pay after working more than 40 hours and ensures at least a day off each week. They will also be covered under the state’s worker compensation and anti-discrimination laws and gain access to unemployment insurance. The law mandates the state Department of Labor to study the feasibility of collective bargaining for domestic workers and report its findings by November.

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