Mass. Senate approves basic rights for domestic workers

BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed a bill that could give domestic workers basic rights such as meal breaks, time off and maternity leave. Good timing because supporters believe domestic workers, like nannies and housekeepers, could soon see a spike in demand.

“There’s a lot of people moving into retirement, especially in the baby boomer generation, and what we’re seeing is not only a care gap, but about to be a huge explosion and we wonder if we want it to be in the dark or do we want it to be in the light,” said Lydia Edwards from the Massachusetts Coalition for Domestic Workers.

Domestic workers are not considered employees and are not covered under the state discrimination law. It dates back to 1945, preventing in-home workers the right to bring a claim to discrimination agencies.

“We took a whole series of laws where these folks were invisible and were excluded and we included them today and corrected those omissions from the law,” said Senate Democrat Gale Candaras.

Senator Candaras believes this is long overdue and will finally provide basic protections for domestic workers.

Next, the bill will head to the House for debate. Domestic workers who work in private homes across the state hope the bill will be passed into law to offer them more protections.

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