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Domestic workers’ protection bill passes state senate

5/16/2014, noon

Last week, the Massachusetts Senate passed the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which codifies basic labor rights for domestic workers such as nannies, maids and personal care attendants. The bill was passed unanimously and was referred to the House, where it is expected to pass and to become effective in April 2015.

The legislation is in response to domestic workers and their representatives who testified before lawmakers about working conditions approximating indentured servitude. Common complaints from domestic workers include inadequate personal time, being fired arbitrarily and with no notice, being sexually harassed, and being underpaid.

Part of the bill includes establishing a multilingual outreach program to inform domestic workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. The outreach will include model employment agreements, educational materials to inform employers of their duties when employing domestic workers, information on benefits, tax and insurance laws, and a model written work evaluation form.