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Mary Poppins would never nanny in New York

A new survey suggests that domestic workers are grossly underpaid and overworked despite New York's 2010 Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights stipulates that employers must at least pay a domestic worker, such as a nanny or cleaner, minimum wage and provide overtime and paid days off. It would appear that there is still a lot of scrubbing to do within the system in order to ensure these laws are followed.

While New York nanny pay may be more than the average, most make less than $15 per hour and families rarely pay overtime or into Social Security. Nationwide, 70 percent of nannies are paid less than $13 per hour and often work with no written agreements or contracts to protect them should they be fired or suffer from a workplace injury.

A live-in nanny may make even less as the lines blur between on-duty hours and off-duty. Often, they are asked to work around the clock and not compensated overtime or for many of the hours worked as they may be on a fixed salary. One nanny who was surveyed in New York even estimated that her hourly rate equated to $1.38 over a 15 month period and did not include any time off.

The survey also found a surprising number of workplace injuries among domestic workers. House cleaners in particular suffered more than others. There were a high number of complaints of skin irritation from the chemicals used in the cleaning products that they handle on a daily basis. Other injuries by domestic workers included pain in their wrists, shoulders, elbows and hips, all associated with the work that they are doing.

Workplace injuries are a serious matter and as a worker your rights are protected under the law. Should you experience any discomfort, pain, or other kinds of pain, please seek the consultation of a lawyer in how to best address remedying this situation.

Source: NY Daily News, "Nannies are underpaid and overworked: survey," Erica Pearson, Nov. 27, 2012

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