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Massachusetts Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Takes Effect

April 2, 2015

Domestic workers in Massachusetts will be protected by a new “bill of rights” law beginning on April 1.

The law applies to as many as 67,000 domestic workers in the state, including maids, nannies, and personal care attendants, the Boston Herald reported. Domestic workers employed by agencies are not eligible for the law’s protections, however.

The law guarantees that workers are paid for all time spent working, given adequate time to rest, and protected against sexual harassment and discrimination, according to the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

“The most important thing for employers to understand is that they have certain obligations intended to ensure that their employees are treated with respect and dignity,” Lydia Edward, campaign coordinator for the Massachusetts Coalition for Domestic Workers, told the Herald.

Former Gov. Deval Patrick (D) signed the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights law last July, making Massachusetts became the fourth state to enact such a law since 2010, following New York, Hawaii, and California.

Connecticut lawmakers are currently considering a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights of their own.

— by Matthew Ozga

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