AN ACT AMENDING THE LABOR LAWS TO ESTABLISH THE DOMESTIC WORKERS' BILL OF RIGHTS AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THOSE RIGHTS.
Enacts Article 24, Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights, of GS Chapter 95. Sets out three defined terms applicable to the Article. Defines domestic worker (worker) to mean a person employed in a home or residence for the purpose of caring for a child, services as a companion to a sick, convalescing or elderly person, housekeeping, or for any other domestic service purpose; excludes any individual engaged in companionship services, as defined by specified federal law, who is employed by an employer or agency other than the family or household using his or her services.
Establishes the right of a worker to at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in each calendar week, and six identified holidays. Bars requiring a worker to work on his or her day of rest or one of the holidays. Requires overtime compensation for hours worked on a day of rest or a holiday, or twice the worker's regular rate if the hours constitute hours worked beyond 40 hours in a work week. Provides for workers to have at least seven paid sick days and five vacation days each year; requires 30 days' notice before the first vacation day. Requires 21 days' notice of termination of the worker. Failure to provide this termination notice makes the employer liable to the employee for back pay and the value of the cost of any benefits the employee would be entitled, as specified, for up to 60 days of the employer's violation or one-half the number of days that the employee was employed by the employer, whichever is smaller.
Provides for civil enforcement by the worker, the Commissioner of Labor (Commissioner), or the Attorney General for any employer or an agent, or officer or agent of any corporation, who pays or provides or agrees to provide any worker less than the wages or benefits applicable under the Article. Provides for recoverable damages, including attorneys' fees, as well as liquidated damages for willful violations up to 25% of payment due. Details the Commissioner and Attorney General's enforcement authority. Sets the statute of limitations at six years. Establishes powers of the Commission to order compliance with the Article, directing due payment, and assessing civil penalties for repeat violations or willful or egregious violations at double the amount found to be due. Requires orders for direct payment be for full payment of wages, benefits and civil penalties due. Establishes civil penalties for violations other than payment due at $1,000 for the first violation, $2,000 for a second violaiton, and $3,000 for subsequent violations thereafter. Details considerations relating to assessing the penalty amount. Includes a severability clause.
Appropriates from the General Fund to the Department of Labor and the Department of Justice $200,000 each for the 2020-21 fiscal year to fund enforcement and educational efforts regarding the new Article. Effective July 1, 2020.