New Brazil law shores up domestic workers' rights; opens door to employer fines

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A new law in Brazil provides fines against employers who fail to legally register their domestic workers.

The legislation is part of efforts to provide basic labor protections to Brazil's estimated 6 million domestic workers. Maids, nannies, cooks, gardeners and caretakers were long excluded from the South American nation's stringent labor laws, which are similar to labor codes in some European countries.

The law that went into effect on Thursday is aimed at shoring up last year's so-called "Domestic Workers' Law," which capped the workweek at 44 hours. The new legislation allows workers to denounce employers who fail to legally register them. The employers can be fined up to several hundreds of dollars for each infraction.