Domestic Workers Legislation Moves Through NY State Assembly Committee

The New York State Assembly Labor Committee has approved legislation to help protect an estimated 200,000 domestic workers in New York, approximately 93 percent of whom are women. According to the New York Daily News the bill would ensure that domestic workers receive paid sick leave and vacation, discrimination protection, notice of termination, and severance pay.

Domestic Workers United (DWU), an organization of Caribbean, Latina, and African American nannies, housekeepers, and elderly caregivers in New York, introduced the legislation, called the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (A1470), and has led the charge for its passage. A lobby day to push for the bill’s passage will take place in Albany today.

The bill has been proposed several times in previous legislative sessions and currently awaits introduction and voting in the state Assembly and the state Senate. Ai-jen Poo, a DWU organizer told Ms. magazine that with a new Senate sponsor, Democrat Diane Sazino, and a Democratic Senate majority, DWU is optimistic about the bill’s success this time around. “We’re seeing more momentum [for the passage of the bill] than in the last four years combined,” Poo said. “We’re pretty confident that it’s going to win this session.”


Domestic Workers United press release 2/6/09; NY Daily News 5/31/07; Domestic Workers United News 5/7/2008; Interview with Ai-jen Poo.

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