BUILD, BUILD, BUILD. Construction is in full swing for the North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway connector along Antipolo Street in Sampaloc, Manila on Tuesday (March 8, 2022). The eight-kilometer, all elevated four-lane toll expressway will extend the NLEX southward from the end of Segment 10 in C3 Road, Caloocan City to Polytechnic University of the Philippines Sta. Mesa in Manila and connect the Skyway Stage 3. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Mar 9 (Mabuhay) — The Philippine Consulate General in New York has welcomed the new measures that would protect Filipinos and other domestic workers living and working in New York City.

The landmark law signed by New York Governor Kathleen Hochul in December 2021 legally considers domestic workers as “employees” under the New York State Human Rights Law while Intro 39 signed by then New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in August 2021 extends anti-discrimination protections to domestic workers of the city.

“The Philippine Consulate General welcomes these positive developments that will improve employment security and enhance work benefits of kababayan employed in the household service industry,” Consul General Elmer Cato said in a March 8 statement.

The expansion of the human rights law provides explicit protection for a domestic worker, who often works as the sole employee of the employer, and protects them against discrimination and harassment, according to the consulate.

While city employers of domestic workers are set to comply with the law beginning March 12, 2022, the statewide protections are already in effect, it said.

Domestic workers are individuals employed at a home or residence as housekeepers, nannies, home healthcare aides, or similar positions. A person does not need to live with their employer to be considered a domestic worker.

“As domestic workers have historically been laboring in a shadow economy, they become particularly vulnerable to abuse and all kinds of harassment,” Cato said.

“Codifying protections for domestic workers will significantly empower them and hopefully pave the way for more legal measures to improve the lives of domestic workers,” he added. (MNS)

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