New NY Law Gives Rights to Nannies and Housekeepers

New York State's Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which passed in November of 2010, is starting to get some attention.

If you're a nanny, housekeeper, or other kind of domestic worker in New York -- or if you're a parent or homeowner planning to hire a domestic worker -- be sure you know about the new law's rules about minimum wage, overtime pay, weekly payments, rest days, and more.

Below are some highlights of the law's major provisions, straight from the New York Department of Labor website (at www.labor.ny.gov; visit the site to find more detailed information on the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights):

  • Domestic workers have the right to receive overtime pay at a time-and-a-half rate, after working 40 hours or more in a week (or 44 hours for workers who reside in the home where they work).
  • Domestic workers get one day of rest (24 hours) for every seven days worked, or overtime pay if the domestic worker agrees to work on that day.
  • After a domestic worker has worked for the same employer for one year, the worker is entitled to three paid rest days every year.
  • Legal protections set out in the state of New York's Human Rights Law apply to domestic workers.
  • A distinct legal remedy for domestic workers who suffer sexual or racial harassment will now be available.