This guide provides general information about state and city laws that protect domestic workers in New York hired directly by private households. It is not intended to provide legal advice. The document links directly to government websites that provide comprehensive information about these laws.
Please note: domestic employers are strongly encouraged to provide additional benefits and protections above the basic minimum the law requires in order to meet industry standards and ensure that the home is a fair workplace.
New York State and New York City laws apply to domestic employers and workers
Under this bill, New York State domestic employers must provide overtime pay, a weekly day of rest, three paid days of rest each year, unemployment, disability insurance and workers compensation.
New York State employers must provide coverage for domestic workers who work 40 or more hours per week. This is insurance that provides cash benefits and/or medical care for workers who are injured or become ill as a direct result of their job. Information on how insurance can be obtained is found here.
In New York State, employers must provide coverage for employees who work 20 hours or more. Provides weekly cash benefits to replace, in part, wages lost due to injuries or illnesses that do not arise out of or in the course of employment
Domestic employers are required to obtain Paid Family Leave insurance for workers who work 20 hours or more. It can be used to bond with a newly born, adopted or fostered child, care for a family member with a serious health condition, or assist loved ones when a spouse, domestic partner, child or parent is deployed abroad on active military service or to quarantine for Covid-19.
- Paid Family Leave Notice of Rights
- Your insurance carrier will provide you with a notice to employees (Notice of Compliance) stating that you have Paid Family Leave insurance.
You must pay New York State Unemployment Insurance contributions if you pay a domestic worker cash wages of $500 or more in a quarter.
- For instructions, see Householder’s Guide for Unemployment Insurance from the New York State Department of Labor.
Domestic employers in New York City with 1 or more domestic workers must provide up to 40 hours of paid leave each calendar year; employers with 100 or more domestic workers such as home health aides must provide up to 56 hours of paid leave each calendar year. This law applies to both part time and full time domestic workers.
Employers with 4 or fewer employees and net income of $1 million or less in the previous tax year are required to provide up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave per calendar year. If you have more than 4 or more employees or make a net income of more than $1 million dollars you are required to provide paid sick leave. Requirements found here.
In New York City, a domestic employer cannot discriminate against a domestic worker based on their actual or perceived gender, national origin, race, immigration status, religion, or any other category protected by the law. That means that employers cannot fire or refuse to hire a domestic worker, pay them less, harass them or allow them to be harassed, or otherwise treat them worse because of their membership in a protected class. Protections apply to workers regardless if they are working full time or part time.
Domestic workers have the right to reasonable accommodations or changes to their schedules or duties to enable them to perform essential job functions, unless it causes hardship for the employer. NYC employers must provide a notice of rights regarding anti-sexual harrasment rights and responsiblities: Download a copy of that notice below.
- Required to be posted: Stop Sexual Harassment Act Notice
- Fact sheet required to be distributed
- Sexual harrasment annual training
Employers in New York State are prohibited from discriminating against domestic workers due to age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, familial status, marital status, domestic violence victim status, favorably resolved arrest record, or because the individual has opposed any practices forbidden under the Human Rights Law or because the individual has filed a complaint.
New York State HERO Act, Emergency Preparedness Law, and COVID-19 Regulations
This law requires all domestic employers to take various health and safety measures for the worksite. They include providing benefits such as sick leave, paid family leave, and disability benefits to New York employees impacted by mandatory or precautionary orders of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.
The law requires employers to give written notice of pay rates, fringe benefits, a pay statement and notice of termination for each employee.