New York became the first state to enact legislation granting workplace rights to domestic workers, passing the Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights on July 1, 2010. The bill was passed in part due to a fierce lobbying effort by Domestic Workers United, a group organized ten years ago to protect the rights of nannies and other household laborers in the New York area.
The bill provides domestic workers, a previous unregulated class of employees, with many of the same basic labor protections that have been available to other professions for over a century. These basic protections include setting a 40 hour work week (44 hours for live-in workers), providing for mandatory overtime compensation, 24 consecutive hours off per week, and three paid days off each year. Critical provisions provide domestic workers with recognition under New York's Human Rights Law and protection from discrimination, sexual advances, and harassment by employers.
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