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Domestic Workers Bill of Rights introduced into NY state senate

May 1, 2007

This exciting May Day news just in from the folks at Domestic Workers United: last week, the New York State senate introduced the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (S. 5235). The bill sets a living wage, paid sick and vacation time, and advanced notice of termination for a workforce of nannies, house cleaners, and elderly care givers. These workers, who number over 200,000 in the tri-state area alone and are overwhelmingly immigrant women of color, are currently excluded from state and federal labor laws, leaving them with almost no worker protections. (to read the complete bill in all its legalese, click here, and then search for bill no. S05235).

From the press release:

“It’s about time we receive the protections we deserve. I personally have worked long hours, for poverty wages, been denied days off and treated as less than human. I don’t want another worker to go through that,” says Joycelyn Gill-Campbell, a nanny in Westchester. Employers have also expressed support for the legislation. Caroline Batzdorf, employer of a nanny, shared her experience: “Domestic workers make it possible for their employers to go to work and trust that our children and elders are well cared for. The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights provides much needed guidelines for us to know that these care-givers will be appropriately supported to do the important work that they do.”

No doubt that this bill has come so far because of the hard work of Domestic Workers United, their law students, and the countless allied organizations and unions who see the need for this bill, and are pushing for its support among their members and lobbying for it in Albany. If you’re in NY, your presence will be crucial at a Town Hall on June 7th, 6:30 PM at Judson Memorial Church. You’ll be hearing more from me about this event as it draws closer, but please consider joining us in affirming how important this bill is and what a vital role domestic workers play in making this city run.

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One comment

  1. […] of abusing domestic workers May 17th, 2007 Just another reason why domestic workers need a Bill of Rights. A Long Island couple has been charged with abusing, underpaying, and overworking two Indonesian […]



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