⚫ A law signed in January went into effect on July 1

⚫ It provides protections for "domestic workers"

⚫ Many NJ households are now considered employers

New protections are up and running for employees that may work right under your nose, and it's up to you to inform them of the new perk.

A "bill of rights" for domestic workers — such as individuals who clean homes, or provide care for children or the elderly — is in effect as of July 1. It's the product of a law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in January.

Whether the worker is hired by an agency or a household, the new protections include their right to breaks, as well as protection from discrimination and harassment, and coverage under programs such as unemployment insurance, workers' compensation, temporary disability, and family leave insurance.

Also, under the law, there's a requirement of a written contract between worker and employer, as long as the individual is working at least five hours per month in the home.

"The Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights recognizes the invaluable contributions domestic workers make to families and communities," said Robert Asaro-Angelo, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. "This law is a crucial step in ensuring the fair wages, safe working conditions, and dignity every worker deserves, and to empowering those who are often overlooked yet play an essential role in the daily lives of others."

The protections are valid regardless of one's immigration status, officials say.

Visit this site for information related to the new law.

You're an employer now

According to NJDOL, private households who pay a domestic worker for services in their home "are likely now considered an employer." It's up to households to inform the worker of their rights. Private households that contract with an agency for services but don't handle employment terms likely don't have to worry about this.

On top of notifying workers, the new law also requires homeowners — who would now be considered employers — to both register for payroll taxes and obtain worker's compensation insurance, if they're paying out more than $1,000 to a domestic worker (in either 2023 or 2024).

State officials say that if employers don't comply, they could face financial penalties.

"It is unlawful to retaliate against a worker who exercises their rights," officials said in a news release.

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