New York Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights

Today is a huge step and victory for nannies and other household employees in the State of New York. That’s because the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in New York takes effect today, November 29, 2010. Per the New York Department of Labor, among other benefits, the new law will entitle nannies and other domestic employees with the following rights:


  • The right to overtime pay at time-and-a-half after 40 hours of work in a week, or 44 hours for workers who live in their employer’s home;
  • A day of rest (24 hours) every seven days, or overtime pay if they agree to work on that day;
  • Three paid days of rest each year after one year of work for the same employer; and
  • Protection under New York State Human Rights Law, and the creation of a special cause of action for domestic workers who suffer sexual or racial harassment.

For full details on the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, please visit the website for the New York Dept. of Labor.

The State of New York is the first state to pass such a bill into law. Should other states follow in New York’s footsteps? What are your thoughts?


Should household employers be required to offer paid benefits, overtime, and 2 weeks notice/severence pay?

Well, just last week, the New York State Senate passed a bill that would require such benefits as paid holidays, sick days, vacation days, overtime wages and either 14 days notice of termination or severance pay before families can fire their domestic employee. This bill is currently being “reconciled” against a similar bill passed last year and lawmakers expect New York Governor David Paterson to sign what is being proclaimed the nation’s first workplace protection for domestic employees. If signed, this new law is expected to affect an estimated 200,000 workers in New York, including illegal immigrants.

Is this bill long over due and should other states follow suit? What types of effects will this law have on a family’s ability to afford a nanny or domestic employee? Does your family already offer these benefits? Should workplace protection be extended to illegal immigrants? We’d love to hear thoughts from both families and nannies.

See “For Nannies, Hope for Workplace Protection” by Russ Buettner