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New Law Protects Mass. Domestic Workers

Photo by Veejay Villafranca/Getty Images

People who hire nannies, caregivers and other domestic workers in Massachusetts must now adhere to established labor standards and other worker protections.

The bill signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick defines domestic workers as individuals who provide in-home services including housekeeping, laundering, cooking and even companionship.

The new law also makes clear that domestic workers are eligible for government services and benefits such as unemployment insurance, workers compensation and minimum wage protections.

The law sets rules for sleep, meal and rest periods, and required that female domestic workers receive at least eight weeks maternity leave if they are full-time employees.

Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steven Tolman said the labor standards will help to end the abuse and mistreatment that he said has been too common in the field.

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