Bill to protect domestic workers passes in N.Y. Senate

ALBANY – The State Senate passed the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (S2311D/Savino) making New York the first state in the nation to provide new standards of worker protections for more than 200,000 employees in an industry which has gone unregulated for decades.

The legislation passed 33-28 in the Senate. The Assembly has yet to act.

This legislation guarantees protection from discrimination, notice of termination, paid sick days and holidays, and other basic labor protections long denied to nannies, housekeepers, and elderly caregivers employed in private homes.

“New York has long been a leader in protecting the rights of workers. We enacted child labor laws long before the federal government did, were the first to pass labor protections for those toiling in sweatshops, and more than 75 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a former New York State Senator, signed the National Labor Relations Act, sweeping legislation that guaranteed workers’ the right to organize, but which unfortunately excluded domestic workers,” said Senator Diane J. Savino (D-Brooklyn/Staten Island).

“Now we have the opportunity to again make New York a leader in progressive legislation. These basic protections, which most of us take for granted, will result in a dramatic improvement in the daily lives of workers who simply want to be treated with fairness and justice, while providing crucial services to the families that they work for. I look forward to working with Assemblyman Keith Wright, who has championed this issue for years, as well as the rest of my colleagues, in order to enact this bill into law,” added Senator Savino.

[From, June 2, 2010]