PH consulate lauds 2 OK’d Filipino security, labor laws

March 10, 2022 Cristina Lee-Pisco 181 views

NEW YORK CITY, United States of America – The Philippine Consulate General in New York welcomed 2 recent legislation which expands protection for Filipinos and other domestic workers who live or work in New York City.

The two legislations were signed into law by New York Governor Kathleen Hochul and then New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Philippine Consul General Elmer G. Cato, in a statement, said “the Philippine Consulate General welcomes these positive developments that will improve employment security and enhance work benefits of ‘kababayan’ employed in the household service industry.”

The landmark law signed by Gov. Hochul on December 31, 2021 legally considers domestic workers as “employees” for all intents and purposes under the New York State Human Rights Law while Intro 39 signed by then-Mayor Bill de Blasio on August 25, 2021, extends anti-discrimination protections to domestic workers of New York City.

Domestic workers are individuals employed at a home or residence as housekeepers, nannies, home healthcare aides, or similar positions. A person does not need to live with their employer to be considered a domestic worker.

“As domestic workers have historically been laboring in a shadow economy, they become particularly vulnerable to abuse and all kinds of harassment,” Cato said.

“Codifying protections for domestic workers will significantly empower them and hopefully pave the way for more legal measures to improve the lives of domestic workers.”

The vital expansion of the human rights law, provides explicit protection for a domestic worker, often working as the solo employee of the employer; protection against discrimination and harassment in hiring, firing, and the terms and conditions of employment with respect to reasonable accommodations and retaliation; and the ability to seek redress in the same way as most other workers protected under the law.

While city employers of domestic workers are set to comply with the law beginning March 12, 2022, the statewide protections are already in effect.