We are approaching the first anniversary of the New York Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. The recently-enacted law mandates that employers provide workers’ compensation and disability coverage to their domestic employees. Domestic workers are generally defined as persons working in the home to care for a child, serving as a companion for a sick or elderly person, housekeeping or for any other domestic service purpose. The new law makes coverage mandatory for workers over the 40 hours-per-week threshold. Some other key provisions of the law are:
- the right to overtime pay at time-and-a-half after 40 hours of work in a week, or 44 hours for in-home workers;
- a day of rest every seven days, or overtime pay if it is waived
- three paid days of rest annually after one year of work
- the removal of the domestic workers’ exemption from the Human Rights Law, and the creation of a special cause of action for domestic workers who suffer sexual or racial harassment and,
- an extension of the state’s Labor Law to domestic workers, meaning that the eight-hour workday and $7.25 minimum wage apply.
Although this law is for New York only, employers of domestic workers in other states can also be required to provide such insurance. The possibility of harassment or wrongful termination lawsuits also exist in all states for this employer-employee relationship. For more information on how best to protect yourself and/or comply with local laws, please contact your Account Executive.