On April 1, the Massachusetts Domestic Workers Bill of Rights took effect. The law that was signed by Governor Deval Patrick last July was designed to improve the working conditions for domestic employees across the Commonwealth. Under the guidelines established by the new law, employers must provide domestic workers with a written contract, maternity leave, and notification regarding termination. In addition, employees must receive meal and rest breaks, parental leave, and sick time. Workers protected by the law include individuals who provide in-home service,s such as housekeeping, cooking, and companionship. State-regulated staffing agencies and individuals who employ casual babysitters are exempt from the provisions of the new law.
According to the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the newly implemented Massachusetts law was needed because domestic employees have historically been excluded from both state and federal labor laws. In addition, such workers typically endure low pay, few benefits, and long hours. The isolation that often accompanies domestic work can place employees at risk of being mistreated, discriminated against, and sexually harassed. Domestic workers in Massachusetts and across the United States may also face unsafe working conditions that place them at risk of serious injury.
The new Bill of Rights for Massachusetts domestic employees amended the Commonwealth’s labor law to provide important worker protections to household employees. The law makes clear that such employees are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment payments, and minimum wage protections.
Unfortunately, a severe workplace accident can leave domestic and other workers incapacitated or worse. The Massachusetts workers’ compensation system is a “no fault,” comprehensive program that requires employers to provide insurance to protect workers who suffered a disabling job-related injury or condition. In Massachusetts, workers who are unable to work for at least five days due to a job-related injury are eligible to receive medical care and weekly financial compensation. Workers’ compensation benefits also are available to the surviving spouse and any dependents of an employee who was tragically killed as a result of a work-related accident or illness. In some cases, vocational retraining is available if an on-the-job injury prevents an employee from returning to his or her prior occupation.
Sadly, the workers’ compensation system can be difficult to navigate on your own. If you suffered a workplace injury in Massachusetts, a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney can help you recover the benefits you may be entitled to. The knowledgeable lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C. are committed to helping you achieve the financial compensation you deserve based on the severity of your work-related accident harm. To learn more about your rights under the law, do not hesitate to contact Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C. through our website or give us a call today at 800-367-0871.
New Law to Protect Domestic Workers to Take Effect in Massachusetts, Insurance Journal
Massachusetts Bill of Rights, NationalDomesticWorkersAlliance.org
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Massachusetts Appeals Court Finds Employee Was Not Terminated for Seeking Workers’ Compensation Benefits, March 25, 2015, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blawg
Complex Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Cases May Require Additional Medical Evidence, March 19, 2015, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blawg