In The News

Ms. Foundation for Women Nov. 30th, 2010 It's about time! As of November 29, 2010, nannies, housekeepers and other domestic workers in the State of New York will, at long last, be afforded the employment protections they deserve under the law.... Click Here for Full Article
Jenny Brown, Labor Notes October 28, 2010 Click Here for Full Story Domestic workers are specifically denied bargaining rights under New York state’s labor law, but childcare givers, housekeepers, and elder care workers gathered today in downtown Manhattan to begin a campaign to change that. Domestic Workers United, which has 4,000 members in the New York City area, scored a pioneering victory when the governor signed a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights into law August 31. The law, which will go into effect at the end of November, provides the approximately 200,000 domestic workers in New York state with protections…
Daniel Massey The New Face of Labor Late last month, as Gov. David Paterson signed the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights into law at a Harlem community center, Barbara Young, a nanny for 17 years, could barely contain her glee. “After so many years and so many people depending on us, we are now recognized as part of the work force,” the 62-year-old Barbados native recalls thinking. The signing marked the climax of a six-year campaign by Domestic Workers United to gain long-denied rights for nannies and housekeepers. But the 200,000 workers who stand to gain from the new law…
Rinku Sen Colorlines This week, just in time for Labor Day weekend, New York Gov. David Paterson signed into law the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. The new law, which takes effect in November, is a massive and unprecedented win for the new labor movement—and it is a model for the way organizers and lawmakers alike must begin to think about workers’ rights in the 21st century economy. The New York law requires overtime pay for nannies, housekeepers and home health aides, guarantees them weekly time off and subjects employers to state law for minimum-wage violations and sexual harassment. These…
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…
By Andrea Hayley NEW YORK—Amid the tremendous emotion and heartfelt celebration of over 200 people at Harlem’s Dwyer Cultural Center Tuesday, Gov. Paterson signed the nation’s first Bill of Rights for domestic workers. The law corrects what the governor calls an historic injustice: when workers first gained the right to a minimum wage, among other basic rights, in 1937, farm and domestic workers were exempted because Southern Democrats who were needed to pass the law disagreed with paying minimum wage to the "hired help." “I wonder if President Roosevelt ever dreamed that it would take until 2010, 75 years until…
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…
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…
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…
Tiffany Ten Eyck Domestic workers in New York have won historic changes to the state’s labor law to include protections for their jobs. Final votes on Thursday ended weeks of wrangling between state Assembly and Senate leaders and Governor David Paterson, who said he would sign the bill. The law guarantees domestic workers time-and-half pay for more than 40 hours and a day off each week, along with protection under worker compensation and anti-discrimination law and access to unemployment insurance. The compromise bill won’t include original demands for paid sick and vacation days and advance notice of termination. But three…
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