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Employee Rights for a Nanny and Domestic Worker in New York State

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for top.lawyers.arrive.mag.2011.jpgFAQ: I am a nanny and I live with a family in New York City taking care of their two young children and performing light housework. Because of their busy work schedules, I have often worked over 40 hours a week without being paid for the overtime. What are my rights?

Because you live in the great State of New York, you have rights and benefits which domestic workers in the other states do not have. On August 31, 2010, then Governor David Patterson signed the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, which became effective on November 29, 2010. New York is the only state in the county that has a law providing labor protection and certain benefits to domestic workers employed directly by a family or household. The law does not cover workers employed by a third party or an agency. If you are a nanny, housekeeper, baby-sitter, cook or caretaker, this new law gives you the same basic protection that other non-domestic workers take for granted. Our Employment Lawyers have represented many nannies and domestic workers assert their rights and can help you too.

Under the new Bill, you have the following protection and benefits:

  • Overtime pay at 1½ times the regular hourly rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a week;
  • If you work and live at the home of your employer, your overtime wage of 1½ times your pay rate starts after you have worked 44 hours in one workweek;
  • One day off for every seven days you work or overtime pay if you choose;
  • 3 paid days off annually after one year of employment;
  • Right to sue for sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender and national origin; and
  • Disability benefits for part time and full time domestic workers under the New York Workers’ Compensation Law.

Domestic workers perform an essential function in our society enabling the families they work for to perform their jobs. They shouldn’t be taken advantage of for taking care of our young and elderly. New York’s lead in passing this great legislation should encourage other states to also protect their domestic workers. This bill provides protection to over 270,000 domestic workers, of whom 200,000 are in New York City. According to the Domestic Workers United advocacy group, 99% of domestic workers are foreign-born, 95% are people of color and 93% are women. Clearly, these are the people in our society who are at the greatest risk of being taken advantage of and need the protection. Regardless of your immigration status, you are still covered under the bill. If you are a domestic worker and feel that your rights have been violated, call our experienced Labor Law Attorneys at Villanueva & Sanchala at (800) 893-9645 for a consultation to determine if any of your rights have been violated.


Thank you for visiting our Blog. This blog provides general information and thoughts about various employment law issues primarily in the New York Tri-State area and occasionally in other areas. You are welcome to read the posts. However, do not construe any content on this blog as legal advice or the creation of an attorney-client relationship. Again, we provide the content only for informational purposes. You should not make decisions based information on our blog since the application of the law depends on the facts and each situation may be different. In addition, the law in most jurisdictions is different and changes constantly and we make no representations that any information on our blog has been updated. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an experienced employment law attorney in your state or jurisdiction.

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