Massachusetts has joined the ranks of states like New York, now providing legal protections for domestic workers. Under the new law, housekeepers, nannies, home nurses, companions, and other in-home employees are now safeguarded from sexual harassment, discrimination, and abuse. In addition, the legislation establishes basic rules on working hours, breaks, and terms of employment.
The NYC sexual harassment lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group applaud Massachusetts’ efforts to raise the standard of living for domestic workers.
Through the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the bill extends regulations on private homes as workplaces. In conjunction with having legal resource against discrimination and harassment, domestic workers are now required to:
- Have 24 hours of consecutive rest for 40 hours of work per week
- Earn overtime wages for hours worked over 40
- Have terms of employment for workers who work over 16 hours per week
- Have advanced notice of termination
Employers are also barred from monitoring or restriction phone calls and are not allowed to be charge employees unfairly for food and lodging.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance was the coalition behind the legislation. Sonia Soares, who had worked in private homes as an elder-care giver and housekeeper for nearly thirty years, testified at a hearing last November: “My colleagues and I clean up to 14 houses a day and still struggle to make ends meet.… I personally have been slapped in the face, pushed, yelled at and sexually harassed.”
Other stories included Natalicia Tracy, who at one point worked eighty to ninety hours a week, at wages as low as $25 per week.
Domestic workers in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia
If you at employed as a nanny, housekeeper, or other in-house workers in New York, you have rights. If you have been sexually harassed, wrongfully terminated, abused, underpaid, or mistreated, contact a sexual harassment lawyer in NYC today.
The Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handles a multitude of cases that involve sexual harassment and employment discrimination in Manhattan and the greater New York City area We also serve employees in New York and Philadelphia. For further information, please feel free to call us at 212-587-0760 for a free consultation