Massachusetts becomes Fourth State to Sign Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights into Law

BY Christopher Valencia

On July 2, 2014, Governor Deval Patrick signed the Massachusetts Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights into law. See Massachusetts Bill of Rights, National Domestic Workers Alliance, http://www.domesticworkers.org/mass-bill-of-rights (last visited Nov. 17, 2014). Under the new law, a domestic worker is defined as “an individual or employee who is paid by an employer to perform work of a domestic nature within a household…” See Mass. Gen Laws Ann.. ch. 149, § 190 (West 2014). The law guarantees domestic workers employment benefits, such as: a 24-hour rest period each work week, overtime pay for work over forty hours in a work week, and requires employers of domestic workers to keep a log of compensable hours to ensure the employee receives fair compensation for hours worked. Id. Of the four States that have enacted a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights since New York in 2010, the Massachusetts law is the most comprehensive to date. See Massachusetts Domestic Workers Win Right and Protections Gov. Signs Landmark Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, National Domestic Workers Alliance, http://www.domesticworkers.org/news/2014/massachusetts-domestic-workers-win-rights-and-protections-gov-signs-landmark-domestic (last visited Nov. 17, 2014). The Massachusetts Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights not only guarantees domestic workers fair pay it also extends to domestic workers freedom from sexual harassment and preserves privacy rights of domestic workers. Id.

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