Massachusetts lawmakers pass domestic worker bill

MGNOnline/University of Florida
MGNOnline/University of Florida

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts House has given final approval to legislation creating a “bill of rights” for nannies, caregivers and other domestic workers by establishing labor standards and other worker protections.

The bill approved Tuesday on a 126-22 vote defines domestic workers as individuals who provide a range of in-home services like housekeeping, laundering, cooking and providing home companionship.

The bill would also make clear that domestic workers are eligible for government services and benefits such as unemployment insurance, workers compensation and minimum wage protections.

It would set rules for sleep, meal and rest periods, as well as requiring female domestic workers receive at least eight weeks maternity leave if they are full-time employees.

The Senate unanimously approved the legislation last month.

Gov. Deval Patrick must still sign the bill before it becomes law.

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