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Overtime pay for nannies backed in N.Y.

Associated Press / June 4, 2010

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ALBANY, N.Y. — Lawmakers have passed bills to require overtime pay after eight-hour workdays and at least a weekly day off for more than 200,000 housekeepers, nannies, and other domestic workers in New York.

Advocates say that if Governor David Paterson signs the measures, New York will become the first state establishing those rights for household workers, most of whom are women and immigrants.

Lawmakers still have to reconcile differences in the bills.

Unlike the Assembly-passed bill last year, the Senate measure approved 33-28 Tuesday also guarantees a half-dozen holidays, seven sick days, and five vacation days annually, all paid. Both would establish collective bargaining rights. The Senate bill also would require 14-day termination notice or pay and establish a worker’s right to sue.

Federal minimum wage laws already apply.

Senator Diane Savino, Democrat of Staten Island, said the legislation would not apply to casual laborers like baby sitters and occasional house cleaners. It would take effect Jan. 1.

Domestic Workers United, an advocacy group, estimated there are 200,000 such workers in New York City alone. The group said it found one-third reported verbal or physical abuse by employers, while two-thirds said they never received overtime pay.

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