"Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Law Finally Grants Protection for Over 200,000 People

By Albor Ruiz

NY Daily News

Good news, unfortunately, is all too infrequent these days.

That's why the signing into law of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights - a definite piece of good news - is so uplifting.

This bill will, for the first time, give the same protection other workers have to thousands of nannies, housekeepers, elder companions, cleaners, baby-sitters and cooks in private households in the state of New York.

These are people who, although they spend much of their lives taking care of others, historically have been among the most exploited of society's laborers.

Success took six years of meetings, lobbying and marching by laborers organized under Domestic Workers United, a nonprofit organization that spearheaded the efforts to approve this legislation, the first in the nation, to become law in New York State. Its signing on Tuesday by Gov. Paterson was a historic occasion.

"The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights is incredible recognition for the invaluable labor of domestic workers," said Priscilla González, director of Domestic Workers United and the U.S.-born daughter of an Ecuadorean woman who works as a housekeeper.

"It is a validation not only for the over 200,000 domestic workers who make all other work possible every single day, but also for all those who came before," she added.

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