Domestic workers of the world unite!

Nannies, housekeepers and caregivers rally at New York's state capitol for a bill of rights.

Topics: Broadsheet, Love and Sex,

Today, 300 domestic workers and their supporters traveled to New York’s state capitol, where they rallied in support of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, a piece of legislation that would provide basic protections, including fair pay, to the state’s nannies, housekeepers and caregivers. Advocates expect the state Legislature to vote on the bill sometime in the next two months. If it passes, it will be the first law in the country to guarantee rights for domestic employees, who are excluded from the National Labor Relations Act and many of the other regulations protecting workers.

The event was led by Domestic Workers United, which points out that household employees need protection as much as, if not more than, any other workers — especially because their work takes place behind closed doors, where they’re particularly vulnerable to abuse. When the organization surveyed domestic workers in 2006, they found that 21 percent had been verbally abused by their employers. More than half worked overtime, often 50-60 hours per week, yet 67 percent didn’t get overtime pay. Less than half of workers received basic workplace benefits like regular raises and paid sick days.

The Bill of Rights, which has 82 legislative cosponsors and counting, would include domestic workers in New York’s employment discrimination law and would afford them such workplace basics as paid vacation time and one day off per week.

While we’re on the topic, don’t forget that today is Equal Pay Day! Head over to Open Salon, where Jon Henner is collecting stories about how equal pay for equal work (or the lack thereof) impacts people lives.

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    Slide 1

    Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.

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    A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.

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    Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.

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    Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya

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    On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later

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    Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.

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    Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!

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    The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes

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    Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day

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    This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.

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