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News Source: Political Scientist Alyson M. Cole

Subject: Just-Passed New York State “Nanny” Bill of Rights

FLUSHING, N.Y., July 8, 2010 ─ On July 1, New York became the first state in the U.S. to pass a bill of rights for domestic workers guaranteeing them a set work week, three paid holidays after a year of work, overtime wages and protection against sexual harassment. Governor Paterson signed this legislation affecting about 200,000 nannies, housekeepers and companions for the elderly in the metropolitan area, including illegal immigrants who are currently working as child care providers.

Professor Alyson Cole, who has written extensively about the Scandinavian child care model and lectured internationally, can provide perspective: her work examines formulations of justice and the nature of subjugation in light of gender and race/ethnicity. She has noted the lack of public discourse on the subject of child care in this country compared to Sweden and Norway, and the false dichotomy between housework and “care” work. Because she teaches public law, she can comment on the ramifications of this legislation for domestic workers who are paid “off the books” and/or are in the U.S. illegally.

The recipient of Queens College’s President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, Alyson Cole has been at QC and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, since 2002. She teaches classes in political thought, feminism, racial politics, and public law and is the author of The Cult of True Victimhood: From the War on Welfare to the War on Terror (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2006).  She recently coauthored an article with Queens College political scientist John R. Bowman entitled “Do Working Mothers Oppress Other Women? The Swedish ‘Maid Debate’ and the Welfare State Politics of Gender Equity” (Signs: Women in Culture and Society).

In addition, her articles have appeared in American Studies, Feminist Studies, the Michigan Law Review, and the National Women’s Studies Association Journal. She is on the editorial boards of Women’s Studies Quarterly and International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory.

Media Experience: Professor Cole has been interviewed by the BBC, Brazilian television and several radio shows. Her op-ed, “Why the Hostility Toward Victims?” appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle (11/27/06).

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
 

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