Gov't Recognizes It Takes a Lot of People to Run a Country, or a Family.

Jun 3, 2010

Nannies and other domestic workers, not to mention farm workers and independent workers, were left out of the New Deal protections that so many of us take for granted today. (Well, not freelancers. We know we're out in the cold. With maybe just a fond memory of the days certain things, like benefits, vacation, and the rule of law, were as predictable as boring conference calls and fluorescent lighting.) But the days of working in the "wild west," as one nanny described it in the New York Times, are over. Albany's Senate has just passed a bill that would guarantee vacation time, sick days, and overtime pay. Their version will need to be reconciled with the Assembly's, but this is a tremendous victory, not only for the people who work so hard taking care of us and our families, but in recognizing that a worker has rights, regardless of where, how, or for whom he or she works. I'm also very proud to say that one of Freelancers Union best allies, a long-time labor attorney named Richard Winsten, was involved in this win. He said he "sat in the State Senate with hundreds of domestic workers and listened to Senator after Senator get up and speak about how his mother or grandmother had worked cleaning people's houses. It was inspiring." This has me all the more excited about the prospects of our own Get Paid, Not Played campaign for labor protection. Maybe some day people will look back and see 2010 was the beginning of the New New Deal. __