"Paterson Signs Landmark Bill of Rights for Domestic Workers" NY1

Reporting by: Bobby Cuza

Domestic workers in New York are now guaranteed more rights than anywhere in the nation.

Governor David Paterson signed the Domestic Workers' Rights bill into law Tuesday morning.

It guarantees overtime pay, a minimum of one day off every seven days, three days of paid leave per year, and protections against sexual harassment and racial discrimination.

The bill also mandates that a feasibility study be done to see if there is a possibility of these workers unionizing.

The law covers the estimated 270,000 domestic workers – including nannies, housekeepers and caregivers – employed statewide, and is being hailed as a civil rights victory since the majority of the workers are not only women, but also women of color.

"They are the structure and function of our society," Paterson said. "They have been the skeleton and underpinning of our success. They are the wind beneath our wings. And we have totally disrespected them, until today."

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