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The fight to raise the minimum wage almost came to an end in the spring. Albany lawmakers came close to reaching a deal. When the dust settles from the financial impact of Sandy, it will be interesting to see how quickly they take up this issue again. Or if they do.
The first nationwide survey of household cleaners, nannies, and aides for the elderly found many face low pay, wage theft, and unsafe working conditions. A rally was held outside Grand Central Terminal today to bring attention to the report, which found 23% of domestic workers earn below their state’s mandated minimum wage.
The survey, conducted by the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the Center for Urban Economic Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago, also found only 4% of domestic workers received health insurance and 60% spent more than half of their income on rent or mortgage payments.
In 2010, New York State passed a bill aimed at protecting some basic workplace rights for domestic workers. But challenges remain in enforcing it. The survey found 91% admitted they don’t complain about work conditions because they were afraid to lose their job. What do you say?
If you are a domestic worker or employ one, what are the advantages or disadvantages to the job? Are you surprised to learn that 60% spend more than half of their check on rent? Should the minimum wage be increased for all workers in New York State?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
It is not fair that an employer can take advantage of an employee simply because there job is off the books. Employers should provide the essentials as far as a contract of employment. Which includes salary, sick days, holiday pay, work hours, etc. employer should notify the government that they have workers and set up a way for that employee to pay taxes either directly to government or through the employer. Many workers who are employed by home day care businesses are treated unfairly and unlawfully. Work hours are change without any notification, as well as salary. Something needs to be done ASAP.
As a recent college graduate, and current employee of a major retail chain, I am in support of raising the minimum wage. I currently make $13.66 as a part time employee and although I receive steady full time hours, I still cannot afford to pay rent on my own in NYC. Between metro cards, food, rent, and other essential needs, I cannot imagine anyone surviving and providing or their family making $7.50 an hour. As a single, college grad, $13.66 is just enough for me to take care of myself, so I don't think anyone should be faced with the challenge of trying to make ends meet earning $7.50 an hour.
I've work for an elderly person for 4 yrs the same wages from when I started till now, in addition to no benefits. If I'm sick or missed a day of work I don't get paid. I presented a proposal to my boss and he just brushed in under the rug.
Some workers are well paid; others are not paid what they are worth as domestic workers and for the hard work they do.
Many workers are subjected to behavior that is demeaning to the worker. There can be situations where caregivers are treated with disrespect or are unfairly or wrongfully treated. There are other employers who recognize the important work and responsibility these people do.
There needs to be more respect for these workers. This is true that they spend at least 50% of their money on rent and it is difficult to make payments for anything more than food and telephone. Regulation would be a good idea and vacation time and paid days off.
What would the drawback to a union be? Will raising the minimum wage be detrimental to business? Canada's minimum wage is $10/hour. When you make $!0/hr and work 40 hours per week, if your rent is $1,000 or more per month you have $600 or less left over for food, phone, and transportation. It is very true that domestic workers are not in a position to complain because there is fear that someone else will be there to take the job.
First of all government should not interfere with wages and living regulations. You can't pay rent on $15 an hour in city, so why are people taking these salaries!
Also, you take the job because you want to. If there was no minimum wage, and a job would would pay $4.00 an hour, no one would take it. The only reason people still get paid $7.25 an hour is because they accept it.
Brian, Kips Bay
If you think we have salary problems now...wait until the jobs return back from overseas. They will be coming back at minimum wage at an alarming rate and many will take them... like me who holds a Masters Degree and work two minimum wage jobs and about to be evicted.
I know of a situation where a live in housekeeper working in NJ wasn't paid for the 2 weeks during Sandy transportation outages. They said simply, "No work No pay". This woman had worked for this family of five for over 2 1/2 years! She worked 60 to 75 hours every week. She wasn't paid one penny when she was off for surgery.
This is unethical and immoral and indicates the far reaching exploitation of domestic workers. This is definitely an employment segment that needs regulation and benefits. And as a footnote, when the woman gave her 2 week notice, she was told she didn't need to come back... How many of us could handle or budget for this?
People don’t just walk into an office and sit at a desk. People work for years mopping floors or unloading trucks, cleaning toilet to earn that right to sit at that desk. Other people go to school for years and work and accumulate a lot of debt to earn their way to that desk. They deserve the same respect you want.
EAST NEW YORK
VERY GOOD TOPIC !!! first of all the home health aides I feel are being paid unfairly
low and have no proper medical health insurance. Some home health aides work
for almost 11 yrs and only are being paid 9.50 per hr. I heard these workers go home
to the sick patients to take care of them, they should be given proper health insurance
as their health are at risk taking care of sick people. Too much advantage are being
taken on some domestic workers, it's wrong !!!
The minimum wage is but another mechanism by which our society keeps poor people poor. To expect people to live on less than 8 dollars an hour is a joke, even more laughable is that the same politicians who would like to keep the minimum wage down are the exact same individuals who look down their noses at those who then need public assistance. It is deplorable that we allow this to continue. Domestic, dishwasher, or gardener, it makes no difference, we need to start valuing people and promote their quality of life by recognizing that the current minimum wage is minimally livable at best.
With warm regards,
I am originally from Germany and just found out that Germany has no law for minimum wage. I personally feel the wage rate should go up above $ 10.00 in New York. It will help the economy, those workers will spend more money and automatically pay taxes.
There would be less controversy about minimum wage if not for the devaluation of the dollar due to the Federal Reserve’s money-printing monetary policy. A dollar is not worth much. If $7.25 per hour had more buying power, as it did when it was initiated, people wouldn’t be so hurting.
Rent needs to be a tax write off just as a mortgage . That is first . Second rents are governed by landlords alone . They write off the unrented 2400 dollar studio apartments as a loss . They have no incentive to rent what people can afford . They need to be fined for unrented apartments after 6 months .
No way....the minimum wage should NOT be raised. We are in a serious downturn and raising the pay will push businesses to layoff more workers. Keep the wages low!
My wife is blessed to have a full time job working for different families, and she makes much more than minimum wage. I do think however, that people need to be active because if only 1 person is willing to work for a very low wage then it sets a precedent for employers. It says that there is more people out there that are willing to work for this amount of money. But if everybody sets a standard themselves then it forces employers to pay more.
Those people we dodge every day who are just passing out flyers….some are making $10-$20 an hour. Panhandlers, from mariachi bands to stumbling alcoholics, make more than minimum wage. Bump it up.
Patrick from Astoria
IT APPEARS YOU ONLY ANSWER THE CALLS OF THOSE THAT WANT MORE FOR LESS...I'D BET A DOLLAR TO A DONUTS NONE OF YOUR CALLERS EVER HAD TO MEET A PAYROLL OR WADE THROUGH THE MORASS OF DISABILITY UNEMPLOYMENT WORKERS COMP INSURANCE AND HOW MUCH THAT COSTS....TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT'S GOING ON IN EUROPE RIOTS IN THE STREET BECAUSE THEY CREATED A CULTURE OF ENTITLEMENT & EXPECTATION AND WHEN THE MONEY RAN OUT ...IT WAS TIME TO RIOT AND COMPLAIN......IN THE REAL WORLD PEOPLE CAN ASK FOR SALARIES THAT ARE EQUIVOCAL TO WHAT THEY CAN DO BETTER THAN OTHERS, HOW MUCH MORE THEY CAN BRING TO A JOB THAN OTHERS AND THEREFORE WHAT THEIR VALUE IS IN THE WORKPLACE.
I WORKED FOR NOTHING TO GET EXPERIENCE AND WHEN I GOT SOME EXPERIENCE I WAS ABLE TO WORK FOR SOMETHING AND WHEN I GOT MORE EXPERIENCE AND GOT BETTER AT WHAT I DID...I GOT PAID MORE THAN OTHERS.
THE FREE MARKET IS THE REAL WORLD NOT I'M ENTITLED TO SICK DAYS AND VACATION DAYS AND MORE MONEY THAN IT'S REALLY WORTH PAYING ME..
ALLEN IN MANHATTAN
While most of the proposals would appear warranted on the surface, I think it is more complicated than that. Many domestic workers have “live-in” situations, in which they are basically given free room and board; would the value of that be included in the determination of whether they are receiving minimum wage? If so, how does one determine that value and, considering that most who employ these workers live in “high rent districts,“ would that effectively put virtually all of these workers over the minimum wage, thereby hurting rather than helping them?
In any event, many employers do not give ANY paid time off, even including holidays, and that should clearly be rectified. It also seems to me that those domestic workers who are “day workers” and do not receive free room and board should have some protection under minimum wage laws.
Upper East Side
I most definitely think that home attendants should be paid a lot more than they are paid. Some of them are the absolute pits and abuse the elderly and disabled in their care because they are the lowest level of people who apply for the jobs. ON THE OTHER HAND, the majority of them (to my knowledge) are kind and caring and most certainly earn far more than they are paid. If there was a higher rate of pay and more screening, the elderly and disabled would benefit as would the people who go into the profession of caring for them. Caring for the sick, elderly and disabled is a very, very important job and only people of the highest caliber should be doing it, but why would they do it if they can't earn a living wage?
Yes I support a minimum wage increase! Especially here in New York, with rents, utilities, food, etc going up we aren't making ends meet as it is. Look at the homeless situation! A lot of those people are or were working families. If you want quality care/work you have pay for it! Pay people so they can survive feed there families! Keep a roof over there heads!
Minimum wage should go up. Life is getting too expensive for the working class. Somehow people living on welfare have iPhones and designer clothes and yet the ones out there busting their butts working cant live comfortably. Something is definitely wrong with this picture. It's time to give people on welfare a time frame to get themselves a job and raising minimum wage might entice them to go work.
Junior from Brooklyn.
What a change in subject from Sandy to domestic workers.
As with all labor, the terms must be set by a negotiation between employer and employee. When government regulation is introduced, nothing can be rational. All government can do is impose regulations and coerce compliance.
This creates slavery of a modern sort.
Port Richmond, SI
Whose bright idea was this? What happened to the people that are still destitute from the storm = Sandy = This was not a necessary thing to have happen now. How selfish of the ones that orchestrated this and even more so the ones that allowed this to take place. I think it is more of a deterrent as to this city and states predicament they are in. What a disgrace.
Thank you John,
I mean - I know- to everyone it seems implausible that anyone could live on $7.70 an hour. Hey, look, minimum wage is really for high school and college kids to earn some spending money- for elderly unskilled to supplement their pension/social security- it's not meant to be something to live independently on- but if you're really disciplined and budget conscious it CAN be done. The problem is that people aren't. They want to (over) eat, they want Jordans, Ipads, they want a stylish wardrobe, they want material spoils, they want to have kids -when they CAN'T AFFORD THEM!!! Wake up people- if you are on the poverty level - work towards building your skillset -work towards educating yourself so you can augment your earning potential BEFORE you start a family. You can't have 4 kids -then complain to everyone how difficult it is to make ends meet and expect the taxpayers to finance the growth of your family tree!
When I was coming up I co-habitated with (other responsible enterprising) roomates. I ate canned mackerel, canned tuna, Ramen noodles, grits, beans, peanut butter + jelly, Kool Aid. I worked to pay my college tuition at City University (not an overpriced private college) I worked 2+ 3 jobs at times. I saved for years. I lived within my means. I earned everything I have today by hard work, planning, dedication, persistence, I did my math!.......I suggest everyone else do the same.
I'm going with a minimum wage somewhere in the ball park of $ 8.00