New York Domestic Employees

In New York, a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights is a law that among other provisions, gives domestic workers:

  • The right to overtime pay at time-and-a-half after 40 hours of work in a week, or 44 hours for workers who live in their employer’s home;
  • A day of rest (24 hours) every seven days, or overtime pay if they agree to work on that day;
  • Three paid days of rest each year after one year of work for the same employer; and
  • Protection under New York State Human Rights Law, and the creation of a special cause of action for domestic workers who suffer sexual or racial harassment.

Minimum Wage Applies to Domestic Workers

The Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries governs the payment of wages to domestic employees in New York.  According to that wage order all employees in New York City, including most domestic workers, must be paid at least $15.00 per hour.  Employers on Long Island and in Westchester must pay employees, including domestic workers, at least $13.00 per hour.  Finally, in the rest of New York State employers must pay employees, including domestic workers, at least $11.80 per hour.


Workers’ Comp and Disability Insurance for Household Employees

Your employer must provide workers compensation and disability insurance if you are a household employee who works forty or more hours per week. Normally you cannot bring a personal injury lawsuit against your employer if you get hurt on the job, but if your employer was required to provide you with worker’s compensation insurance but did not do so, you may be allowed to either: i) make a claim against the Uninsured Employer Fund for Worker’s compensation benefits; or ii) sue your employer for pain and suffering.

Total hours worked per week include all of the following:

  • time spent at your employer’s residence, including sleeping and eating;
  • time spent off premises running errands and performing other duties for your employer; and
  • all hours where your presence is required in the household

Employers are not required to provide workers compensation and disability insurance if you are hired to do yard work or casual chores in and about your employer’s home on a part time basis. However, coverage is required when the employee is a minor hired to operate power-driven machinery, including a power lawnmower.

While employers are not required to provide workers compensation insurance for a household employee who works less than 40 hours per week, employers are encouraged to obtain a voluntary workers’ compensation insurance policy to protect both you and the employer.

Legal Help for Domestic Employees

If you are a domestic employee who is not being paid minimum wage or if your employer is violating your rights under the provisions of the New York Domestic Employee Bill of Rights, call the Law Offices of William Cafaro at (212) 583-7401 to schedule an appointment. There is no charge to speak wi�h an attorney to find out how we can protect your legal rights. Nor do you owe us a fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you.

Helpful Information

Facts for Domestic Workers

Law Offices of William Cafaro


108 West 39th Street
Suite 602
New York, NY, 10018


Fax: (212) 583-7401

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