New Jersey Passes Domestic Workers Bill of Rights—Waiting for Governor’s Signature
According to a report from the Philadelphia Inquirer, New Jersey legislators have passed a domestic workers bill of rights. The proposed law—Assembly Bill 822 (AB 822)—is now waiting for the signature of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. If it becomes law, it would impact tens of thousands of employees. Within this blog post, our Monmouth County employment attorney highlights the key things you should know about the proposed law.
An Overview of the New Jersey Domestic Workers Bill of Rights
AB 822 is a proposed bill designed to establish and protect the legal rights of domestic workers in New Jersey. Notably, research conducted on behalf of the state legislature estimated that there are more than 50,000 domestic workers in New Jersey. The New Jersey Bill of Rights for domestic workers introduces several significant protections. Here are key things to know about the proposed law:
- A Mandate of Written Contracts (Five or More Hours Per Month): AB 822 would create a state mandate requiring written contracts for employees who work as domestic staff for more than five hours per month:
- A Prohibition on Retaining Personal Documentation: The law would also bar employers in New Jersey from keeping sensitive original personal documents of domestic workers, such as their passport or their Social Security card.
- A Ban On Recording Private Areas: The law would also create new, much stronger privacy requirements for employers of domestic workers. Most notably, AB 822 would bar these employers from recording in private areas like bathrooms and living quarters.
- Enhanced Labor Protections (Wage and Hour): The bill also emphasizes fair labor practices. Employers must provide paid rest and meal breaks, and a mandatory day off after six consecutive days of work. Notice periods for terminating employment are set at two weeks, extending to four weeks for live-in staff. Existing law in New Jersey already entitles most domestic workers to a state-mandated minimum wage. That being said, the supporters of AB 822 note that the new proposed law would make it far easier to ensure that domestic workers are actually paid the full and proper amount that they are due.
The Bill is Still Waiting for a Signature of the New Jersey Governor
It is important to emphasize that, as of January 11th, 2024, Assembly Bill 822 (AB 822) is not law in New Jersey. While the bill was passed with significant support in the state legislature, it still needs the signature of Governor Phil Murphy. To this point, the Governor’s office has not yet publicly weighed in on the proposed legislation to protect domestic workers.
Speak to Our New Jersey Employment Law Attorneys for a Confidential Case Review
At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, we work tirelessly to protect the rights and the interests of our clients. Do you have specific questions or concerns about a workplace matter? Please do not hesitate to contact us today to arrange your completely confidential initial case review. With a law office in Monmouth County, we represent workers all across New Jersey.