Employee’s Rights for Household Workers to Improve

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is soon to become one of just four states with legally enforceable rights for nannies and housekeepers. With the new laws, housekeepers working over 16 hours/week must be provided with a written contract outlining wages and working conditions promised. Rest time would be mandatory for full time workers, and live-in workers would be ensured rights such as advance notice on termination and privacy of communication.

These are rights that Attorney David Dishman already protects for employees in the workplace. The difference is that they will now be extended to workers in the home. Employees in the private home will now have the rights that have long protected general workplace employees. Now, mistreatment like sexual harassment and unjust dismissal in private homes will be considered unfair employment.

While this legislation is a monumental step forward for home workers, the enforceability of these laws may prove to be difficult. If other states’ domestic worker legislation is a sign of what is to come in Massachusetts, there may be legal disputes in the future. New York State implemented similar domestic worker’s rights into law in 2010, but a poll conducted in an affluent Brooklyn neighborhood found that only 15% of respondents were paying their nannies the legal overtime rate.

Due to the nature of private home work, it is difficult for an employee to prove the quality of their work conditions and the fairness of their contract. Attorney David Dishman has years of experience representing disenfranchised workers in underrepresented industries. When Massachusetts domestic worker rights are signed into law, he will fight for employees that are being treated unfairly under their new rights and privileges as private home workers.

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