Pdf protecting yourself as a domestic worker

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RIGHTS BEGIN AT HOME

PROTECTING YOURSELF AS A DOMESTIC WORKER

Domesti

Rights Begin at home:

Protecting yourself as a

Domestic Worker

Protecting Yourself as a Domestic Worker

AcknoWleDgments

This is a revised version of a handbook first created by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) and by the National Employment Law Project (NELP).

This version of the handbook has been revised by NELP and Domestic Workers United, with assistance from Fordham Law School's Stein Scholars Program. The staff of Damayan Migrant Workers Association, the Urban Justice Center and AALDEF reviewed the handbook and provided valuable feedback.

November 2010

Sarah Leberstein Staff Attorney National Employment Law Project 75 Maiden Lane, Suite 601 New York, NY 10038 212-285-3025 x313 sleberstein@

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Priscilla Gonzalez Director Domestic Workers United 1201 Broadway, Suite 907-908 New York, NY 10001 212-481-5747 priscilla@

Rights begin at hoMe

table of contents

i. Domestic Workers' lABor rigHts 3

A. WAGES & HOURS 3 1. Minimum Wage & Wage Payment Laws 5

Federal Minimum Wage 5 New York Minimum Wage & Wage Payment Laws 7 New Jersey Minimum Wage & Wage Payment Laws 7 Connecticut Minimum Wage & Wage Payment Laws 7

2. Overtime 8 Federal overtime law 8 New York Overtime Laws 9 New Jersey Overtime Laws 9 Connecticut Overtime Laws 9 Summary of Minimum Wage and Overtime Coverage, State-by-State 10

3. Other Wage & Hour Provisions 14 a. DEDUCTIONS FOR MEALS AND LODGING 14

Federal law on deductions 14 New York law on deductions 14 New Jersey law on deductions 15 Connecticut law on deductions 15

b. SPECIAL RULES FOR WORKERS WHO SLEEP AT THEIR EMPLOYER'S HOME 16 Federal law on sleep time 16 New York on sleep time 16 New Jersey on sleep time 17 Connecticut on sleep time 17

c. MEAL & REST BREAKS AND DAYS OF REST 17 Federal law on meal & rest breaks 17 New York law on meal & rest breaks and days of rest 17 New Jersey law on meal & rest breaks 17 Connecticut law on meal & rest breaks 17

4. Income and other Employment Taxes 18

5. Workers' Compensation 18 New York workers' compensation law 19 New Jersey workers' compensation law 19 Connecticut workers' compensation law 19

6. Unemployment Insurance 19

7. Abuse, Discrimination and Harassment 20 Federal anti-discrimination law 20 New York anti-discrimination and anti-harassment law 20 New Jersey anti-discrimination law 20 Connecticut anti-discrimination law 20

8. Criminal Abuse and Harassment 21

9. Record-Keeping Requirements for Employers 21 Federal record-keeping requirements 21 New York record-keeping requirements 21 New Jersey record-keeping requirements 23 Connecticut record-keeping requirements 23

ii. immigrAtion issUes relAteD to emPloYment 23

A. EMPLOYERS' THREATS TO REPORT A WORKER TO ICE 23

B. EMPLOYERS' THREATS TO CONFISCATE A WORKER'S PASSPORT 24

Protecting Yourself as a Domestic Worker

C. WORK AUTHORIZATION 24 1. Work Authorization Verification 24 2. Exception to the Work Authorization Verification Requirement 24 3. Filling out the I-9 Form 25

D. FALSE PROMISES OF A GREEN CARD 25 E. A-3 AND G-5 VISAS 26 F. ANTI-TRAFFICKING LAWS 27

Federal anti-trafficking laws 27 T and U Visas for trafficking victims 27 New York anti-trafficking laws 27 New Jersey anti-trafficking laws 28 Connecticut anti-trafficking laws 28

iii. enForcing Worker's rigHts 30

A. DEMAND LETTERS 31 B. LEGAL ACTION 32 1. Filing Complaints with Federal and State Agencies 32

a. Violations of Wage and Hour Laws 32 b. Workers' Compensation 33 c. Unemployment Insurance 34 2. Going to Court 34 a. SMALL CLAIMS COURT 35 New York small claims court 35 New Jersey small claims court & the Special Civil Part 36 Connecticut small claims court 37 B. COURT COSTS 37 C. PROTECTION FROM RETALIATION 38 Federal anti-retaliation law 38 New York anti-retaliation law 38 New Jersey anti-retaliation law 38

iV. tiPs For FinDing Work AnD negotiAting WitH An emPloYer 40

A. FINDING WORK 40 1. Tips for Workers Responding To an Ad 40 2. Employment Agencies 40

New York law on employment agencies 40 New Jersey law on employment agencies 41 Connecticut law on employment agencies 41

B. THE INTERVIEW WITH THE EMPLOYER 42 C. IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ABOUT AGENCIES 45 D. NEGOTIATING PAYMENT 47 E. WHAT A WORKER SHOULD GET IN WRITING 47

APPenDices 49 A. Income Tax Resources 50 B. Federal and State Government Offices 51 C. Legal Services Offices and Law Firms 55 D. Domestic Workers Groups & Worker Centers 57 E. Resources for Victims of Trafficking 59 F. Sample Standard Employment Contract 60 G. Sample Confirmation Letter 63 H. Sample Demand Letter 64 I. Sample Work Record 65 J. ICE Policy Regarding Labor Disputes 66 K. Statutes of Limitations and minimum wage rates, 2004-09 67 L. New York Domestic Worker Bill of Rights - summary 68

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