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Nassau County Legislature

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May 5, 2006

Abrahams and Minority Affairs Committee Hear Testimony on Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

Nassau County Legislator Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead), vice chairman of the Minority Affairs Committee, joined by Legislator Dave Mejias (D-North Massapequa), chairman of the Minority Affairs Committee, this week introduced a local law establishing a Bill of Rights that will protect domestic and household workers, women in particular, from unfair labor practices, exploitation and abuse. 

The legislation will amend the County’s administrative code to require that a written Bill of Rights and a contract of agreed upon job conditions to be furnished to each prospective domestic or household employee in the appropriate language by any licensed agency before the job placement is arranged. 

“We have the responsibility to ensure that all of our residents are afforded an equal opportunity for a workplace environment without fear of exploitation,” said Legislator Abrahams.  “The failure of an employer to provide such equal opportunity because of sexual or racial discrimination or intolerance not only threatens the rights and proper privileges of their employees, but compromises the general welfare of the county and its inhabitants.”

A vast majority of domestic workers in Nassau County are women who may be preyed upon and exploited because of sexual or racial discrimination and language barriers.

Legislator Abrahams and Supporters of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights
Pictured with Legislator Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead), Vice Chair of the Minority Affairs Committee, are supporters of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, legislation introduced during the Minority Affairs Committee.  Many of the supporters gave testimony on the Bill of Rights before the Minority Affairs Committee. Legislator Abrahams is joined by Legislator Dave Mejias (D-North Massapequa), Chair of the Minority Affairs Committee, Legislator Joseph Scannell (D-Baldwin), and Marianela Jordan, Executive Director of the Nassau County Coordinating Agency for Spanish Americans (CASA).  

According to Legislators Abrahams and Mejias, this bill seeks to encourage equal and fair treatment and to prevent the exploitation of Nassau’s domestic workers, especially women.  The bill will promote responsible practices with respect to the placement of domestic or household employees.

“The purpose of this bill is to ensure that all our residents have the opportunity to make their own choices, follow their own beliefs, and conduct their own lives as they see fit, regardless of their employment,” said Legislator Mejias.