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"Today the New York State Legislature passed the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, making New York a leader again in worker protections. Domestic Workers, who have fought for years for dignity and respect in the workplace, are trailblazers and you will soon see states across the country follow suit," said Senator Diane J. Savino.
In a city of secret economies, few are as vital to the life of New York as the business of nannies, the legions of women who emancipate high-powered professionals and less glamorous working parents from the duties of daily child care.
Those nannies, as well as other domestic workers who make possible the lives of New York’s eternally striving work force, have long gone without basic workplace guarantees that most employees take for granted.
Every day, 200,000 domestic workers in New York make it possible for their employers to go to work. Yet, many of these mostly immigrant women of color are employed without a living wage, health care and basic labor protections.
"As far as I am concerned, these folks are the economic backbone of New York," said Assemblyman Keith Wright (D-Harlem). "[Yet] they are an invisible segment of society."
New York State has the chance to lead the nation in extending basic workplace protections to domestic workers — the nannies, housekeepers and caregivers for the elderly who are as essential to the economy as they are overlooked and unprotected.
Is scrubbing somebody else's floor "work"? How about staying up all night - every night - with another person's colicky baby? Or helping their elderly mother shower and use the bathroom? The reality is, domestic workers like nannies, caregivers and housekeepers do some of the hardest and most necessary work around. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are able to do their own jobs and keep their families functioning only because they rely on the labor of nannies and caregivers, yet these domestic employees are denied the basic workplace protections most other workers are guaranteed.
(New York)- State Senator Diane J. Savino, joined State Senator Peralta, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Assembly member Jeff Aubry, Make the Road New York, The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500 in calling for the passage of the The Wage Theft Prevention Act, S7050 (Savino), A10163( Heastie).
New York State Senator Diane Savino, New York State Assembly Member Carl Heastie, and the Coalition to Prevent Wage Theft & Protect Responsible Businesses stood in front of the SOHO location of Scoop NYC, a business that illegally withheld half a million dollars in overtime pay from workers to announce the introduction of comprehensive state legislation to reform the New York State Labor Law (S.7050/A.10163). The coalition is comprised of low-income workers, not-for-profit organizations, civic legal organizations, organized labor, and small businesses.
In an effort to more effectively advocate for the needs and concerns of their constituents, the five New York senators representing Westchester County will convene a public hearing to assess the priorities and impacts of Governor Paterson’s proposed SFY 2010-2011 budget on the residents, communities, organizations and elected officials of Westchester. Senator Suzi Oppenheimer chairs the Westchester Senate delegation, which includes Senators Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Jeff Klein, Vincent Leibell, and Andrea Stewart-Cousins.