Did you know that if you work as one, you are entitled by law to a variety of legally protected rights specific to the type of work that you perform? But, Domestic Workers do not have the same rights as other employees. Employee Rights believes it is important to not only litigate unlawful employment practices, but to also make sure that employees are being educated on what their legal rights are. Because Employee Rights takes the time to speak with all individuals who call our office with their employment questions, we are able to quickly pinpoint certain employment law areas that require attention. Having received several calls and questions about hours, pay and sick leave for domestic workers over the last several weeks, we thought it was important to let you know that there is a Bill that was recently passed by the Senate in Connecticut called the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (Raised Bill No. 5527). We will be watching this Bill and supporting it as it makes its way to the Governor.
The following are some key points that the Bill currently proposes.
PROPOSED PRE-EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS
You must be advised in writing at the time of your hire of the following:
1) your rate of pay;
2) your hours of employment; and
3) be provided with a wage payment schedule;
4) you must be provided with the job duties and responsibilities you are to perform
5) You must be notified of the availability of sick leave, vacation, personal days and holidays and whether such days are paid or unpaid.
PROPOSED LEGAL RIGHT TO PAID LEAVE TIME
You are entitled to paid leave annually if you are a full-time worker. If you are part-time, you become eligible after one (1) full year of employment. Paid leave is earned at a rate of one hour of paid leave for each forty hours worked up to a maximum of 56 hour per calendar year.
If you are a full-time employee and have worked for more than one (1) year, upon completion of that year, you are legally required to be granted 80 hours of paid leave for each calendar quarter of full-time work, in addition to earning one hour of paid leave for each forty hours worked! You are also entitled to carry over up to 56 unused accrued hours of paid leave to the following calendar year.
PROPOSED LEGAL RIGHT TO HAVE A DAY OFF
No employer shall mandate or require a domestic worker to work more than 6 days in any calendar week, unless the worker agrees to do so in writing and without any duress to do so. If an employee willing agrees to work a seventh day of work, those hours are to be paid at time and one half. No employee can be retaliated against for refusing to work 7 days in any given calendar week.
PROPOSED 7-DAY-NOTICE OF TERMINATION IS REQUIRED & POTENTIAL SEVERANCE
At least 7 days prior to any termination of a domestic worker, they must be notified in writing that their employment is being terminated. If said domestic worker is not eligible for unemployment benefits, the employer must provide the worker with severance pay equal to the domestic worker’s average weekly work hours for the most recent complete calendar quarter. *Not valid if employee terminated for willful misconduct.
PROPOSED DISCRIMINATION & RETALIATION IS ILLEGAL
No employer shall discharge, discipline, discriminate against, retaliate against or otherwise penalize any domestic worker because said worker complained to the employer; filed a claim with the Labor Commissioner or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding or investigation against the company and/or because said worker testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding or exercised any of their rights under the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
EMPLOYEE RIGHTS – WE GOT YOUR BACK!
We will continue to follow this Bill and support it until it is passed. For now, if you or someone you know is being treated unfairly, not properly compensated or has been terminated because of any violation listed above, contact Employee Rights, while this Bill is waiting approval, there may be other avenues for you to pursue to protect your legal rights!
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