New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed two bills into law designed to protect personal and domestic employees working in a private home in the State. Both laws are already effective.
The first law amended the New York Executive Law/Human Rights Law by removing the exclusion of domestic workers from the definition of “employee.” As a result of the legal modifications, domestic workers will be protected from workplace harassment and discrimination (whether it is on the basis of age, race, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, marital status, and similar classifications) like other workers. The previous existing law excluded domestic workers from many of the protections of the New York State Human Rights Law.
The second new law amended the New York Workers Compensation Law to extend paid family leave benefits to domestic workers. More specifically, the new law provides that personal and domestic employees who work at least 20 hours per week and are employed on each of at least 30 days in any calendar year are covered under the Paid Family Leave and Temporary Disability Insurance programs. The previous existing law provided that domestic workers needed to work at least 40 hours per week in order to be eligible – while other employees (including part-time and seasonal employees) only needed to work 20 hours per week to be eligible.
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