Consumer and Worker Protection Department adjudicates sick leave cases for domestic workers

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“Domestic workers provide vital support to ourselves and often to our loved ones,” said DCWP Commissioner Peter A. Hatch. “Unfortunately, these invaluable workers often face abusive working conditions and abuse.

We are committed to ensuring that these workers are treated fairly and will hold anyone, including private households, accountable if they violate the rights of their workers or punish them for exercising their rights. I want to remind New Yorkers, if you hire a paid social worker, you are an employer in the eyes of the law. “

“I was very concerned about my health when I contracted COVID-19 and had to continue working in such conditions, especially during the pandemic where it is important to be safe. It was difficult to be brutally and wrongly fired for trying to seek medical help, ”said Antonio, one of the domestic workers. “DCWP helped me understand my rights to sick leave as a paid social worker under the law. I am proud to have been able to obtain justice.

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“I wasn’t able to take sick leave and take care of myself, even though I spent time caring for other sick people,” said Dwight, another of the domestic workers. “It is important that paid social workers like me know that paid safety and sick leave exists, so that we are not repeatedly abused. “

In either case, domestic workers did not receive paid safety and sick leave as required by NYC’s Paid Safety and Sick Leave Act.

Employers either did not have policies in place or did not provide their employees with the required notice of employee rights. In one of the cases, the domestic worker had COVID-19 but was still denied sick leave and was forced to stay home and continue working.


He was later fired when he took time off for a doctor’s appointment and, as a result, became homeless. The employer also retaliated against him with harassing phone calls when he filed a complaint with the DCWP.

The settlement with this domestic worker’s employer requires the family to pay $ 18,000 in restitution and $ 1,000 in civil penalties. In the other case, the domestic worker will receive $ 4,100 in compensation.

Under NYC’s Paid Safety and Sick Leave Act, employers with five or more employees and employers of domestic workers in New York City must provide paid safety and sick leave to employees.

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Employers with fewer than five employees and a net income of $ 1 million or more, employers with between five and 99 employees, and employers with one or more domestic workers must allow 40 hours of paid time off. Employers with 100 or more employees must allow up to 56 hours of paid vacation.

Employers with fewer than five employees and net income of less than $ 1 million must provide unpaid health and safety leave. Safety and sick leave accumulates at the rate of one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked and begins on the employee’s first day of employment.

Employers with five or more employees who do not take safety and sick leave on the first day of a new calendar year must allow employees to carry over up to 40 or 56 hours of unused safety and sick leave from a calendar year to the news. calendar year, depending on the size of the employer.

Employers with five or more employees who do not take safety and sick leave on the first day of a new calendar year must allow employees to carry over up to 40 or 56 hours of unused safety and sick leave from a calendar year to the news. calendar year, depending on the size of the employer.

The law was also recently extended to offer covered employees four additional hours of paid leave per child under 18, by injection of vaccine. Under the city’s Temporary Scheduling Change Act, private employees can request up to two days of unpaid leave.

If the need to use leave is foreseeable, employers can require up to seven days notice to use the accumulated leave. If the need is unforeseeable, employers may require advance notice as soon as possible.

Employers can require documents for more than three consecutive working days off, but it is illegal to require these documents to specify the reason for their use.

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Employers cannot initiate or threaten retaliation against employees, which includes dismissal and any act that punishes an employee or is likely to deter an employee from exercising their rights under the law.

DCWP COVID and paid sick leave provides an overview of all sick leave. Employers and employees can also visit nyc.gov/workers or call 311 (212-NEW-YORK outside NYC) for more information on NYC’s Paid Time Off and Sick Leave Act, including news Notice of rights employee, which is available in 26 languages, one page overviews for employers and employees and the complaint form.

DCWP’s Office of Labor Policy and Standards is committed to raising employment standards for paid social workers, including home helpers and domestic workers.

The Office of Labor Policy and Standards oversees its Paid Care division, a dedicated workplace issues and complaints resource for paid social workers.

As part of its work, DCWP recently installed its largest paid safety and sick leave investigation to date, which was part of the agency’s leading proactive enforcement initiative to examine the home health care industry’s compliance with the Home Health Care Act. NYC paid safety and sick leave, wage and hourly requirements and other labor standards.

In total, since the law came into effect, the DCWP has received more than 2,500 complaints about paid safety and sick leave and has obtained more than $ 16 million in fines and restitution for nearly 45 000 workers.

The DCWP cases were handled by Amalia Torrentes, Paid Care Lawyer, Staff Lawyer John De Vito, Senior Law Enforcement Lawyer Emily Hoffman and Litigation Director Claudia Henriquez of the Policy Office and DCWP Labor Standards, chaired by Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Holt. .

“Domestic workers are among the most essential workers in our city; they care for our aging parents, young children and some of the most vulnerable members of our community. And yet, these vital workers are often very vulnerable themselves – they may lack information about their basic legal rights or fear reprisals if they seek to exercise these rights, including the right to sick and safety leave. paid, which is essential in the midst of a pandemic. Said Senator Liz Krueger. “I am happy that the DCWP has championed the cases of these two workers, and I hope this sends a clear message to workers and employers that workers’ legal rights, including paid time off, must be respected.”

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“For employers to flout our paid sick leave laws is unacceptable at any time – during a pandemic, it is completely outrageous. Domestic workers do the essential and compassionate work of caring for the elderly and people with disabilities, ”Assembly member Harvey Epstein said. “When their bosses break sick leave laws, they put workers, their patients, and all vulnerable members of our society for whom a COVID infection could be fatal or seriously debilitating. I applaud the DCWP for acting on behalf of these workers and hope this action sends a message to all employers: if you break the law, you will suffer the consequences. “

The New York Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) protects and improves the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities.

DCWP licenses over 59,000 businesses in over 50 industries and enforces key consumer, licensing and workplace laws that apply to countless others.

DCWP licenses over 59,000 businesses in over 50 industries and enforces key consumer, licensing and workplace laws that apply to countless others.

By supporting businesses with fair enforcement and access to resources, and helping resolve complaints, DCWP protects the market from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance.

Through its community outreach and the work of its Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy and Standards offices, DCWP empowers consumers and working families by providing them with the tools and resources they need to be consumers. educated and to achieve financial health and work-life balance.

DCWP also conducts research and advocates for public policy that advances its work to support communities in New York City.

For more information about DCWP and its work, call 311 or visit DCWP at nyc.gov/dcwp or on its social networking sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.

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