We did it! Massachusetts Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Becomes Law

We did it! Massachusetts Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Becomes Law
Domestic Workers for the First Time ever have Labor Rights in the State of Massachusetts. More than 107,000 domestic workers including 30,000 PCAs are now protected under Massachusetts labor laws. We celebrated the passage of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights with Governor Patrick's signing ceremony on July 2, 2014 at the State House in Boston. 


The New Labor law gives Domestic Workers Rights to:


  1. Be Paid for All Working Time


  2. Guaranteed Days of Rest


  3. Sue if Injured by Coworker


  4. Limits on Deductions for Food & Lodging


  5. Privacy for all Domestic Workers


  6. Protection Against Labor Trafficking

  7. A Written Evaluation

  8. Unpaid Maternity Leave 
(8 weeks for one child & 16 for two/twins)

  9. Ask for a Written Employment Contracts for 16+ hours 


  10. Document Retention & Receive Notice of Rights


  11. Notice/Lodging/Severance before Termination without Cause for Live-ins


  12. Protection against Retaliation


  13. Access to MCAD for Discrimination & Sexual Harassment Complaints
 




The Bill's labor protections have been a long time coming. Due to Jim Crow racial segregation in the 1930s, domestic workers were intentionally excluded from fundamental labor law protection during the Depression when most other workers gained new labor rights under federal law. For domestic workers in Massachusetts, that exclusion is now corrected. Massachusetts is the fourth state in the United States to pass a law recognizing that domestic workers too deserve protection under our labor laws. We praise Massachusetts legislators and our Governor for their support. In addition, this achievement could not have been possible without all the workers, friends, supporters, allies, endorsers, funders, and media partners, who made up this broad movement for change. 
We would like to offer a special thanks to Steve Tolman, President of Massachusetts AFLCIO, who prioritized this Bill, making it a priority effort for the state labor federation, and also to the SEIU's for their dedicated efforts on behalf of the Bill.

We are looking forward to working with you to make sure that all workers and employers learn about this new law.
BIC Executive Director Natalicia Tracy reminds that, “Inspired by the New York Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights, it took audacity to start this campaign in 2010, and it took all of us working together to make it happen. It will also take all of us working together to make sure the Bill of Rights is genuinely implemented.”

The Brazilian Immigrant Center is the co-founder of Mass Coalition for Domestic Workers. We worked closely with our allies including National Domesitc Workers Alliance and the Greater Boston Legal Services, where Monica Halas supported us as our legal counsel and legislative mentor. Thank you very much to all! 



updated 3 days ago

A GLIMPSE OF OUR HISTORY

A GLIMPSE OF OUR HISTORY

BIC Standing with Fire Bull Workers

Founded in Boston by immigrant workers in 1995, the Brazilian Immigrant Center has always functioned as a worker’s center, designed to support and defend workers’ rights under current Massachusetts and US labor laws.  In 2008 BIC also absorbed the smaller Brazilian Workers’ Center of East Boston. Our programs center on organizing, advocacy and training designed to reduce marginalization of immigrants, and promote their empowerment as workers and civic participants.  BIC is the only Portuguese speaking Boston non-profit that puts workers’ rights and workplace justice at the center of our service and organizing mission. In the 2005 National Study on Immigrant Worker Centers, surveying 137 community-based and -led worker organizing projects nationally, BIC was reported to be one of five such centers in Massachusetts, and the only one in the U.S. dedicated to working with Portuguese-speaking populations (see Janice Fine,Worker Centers: Organizing Communities at the Edge of the Dream, Ithaca, NY:  Industrial and Labor Relations Press, Cornell University, 2006). While we help workers negotiate in smaller cases, we refer individual cases that often become class action suits to outside counsel. We regularly consult with a dedicated group of volunteer attorneys who are available for consultations with our staff or with workers at the Center. We also document many cases we cannot solve and refer them to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office (MAG), or to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). BIC is often the bridge between the Brazilian community and the legal system. Our staff and volunteers serve as the eyes and ears of the community in matters of workplace justice.  Many in our community are afraid to trust government agencies or the police.  Our frequent weekly workshops and seminars train workers in their rights, in how to organize and train others, and support them in the complaint process. BIC sees helping workers with their problems, sometimes as individuals and often as groups, as a key strategy to connecting with the community and promoting organizing.   It is through our daily interactions with the community at the Center's offices that we learn about the community's problems and how we can be more effective in organizing our constituency to defend themselves and to promote systemic social change.

updated 2 years ago

WElCOME TO THE BRAZILIAN IMMIGRANT CENTER (BIC)

WElCOME TO THE BRAZILIAN IMMIGRANT CENTER (BIC)

Together we stand for social and economic justice

Our mission is to support workers’ struggles in the Greater Boston area around issues of workplace rights and immigration. Through organizing, advocacy, education, leadership,  and capacity building, we join immigrant workers and their families in the fight against economic, social and political marginalization and in working to create a more just society.

updated 2 years ago

WE STAND TOGETHER AGAINST RACIST AMENDMENTS. WE ARE AGAINST SB 2061

WE STAND TOGETHER AGAINST RACIST AMENDMENTS. WE ARE AGAINST SB 2061

State House- Natalicia Tracy, Executive Director

All of us, immigrants or not, are against DUI’s, that cause so MUCH PAIN for the victims of accidents and their families,
Our hearts go out to everyone and anyone who is affected by them. The immigrant community, however, has a lower crime rate than the community in general, and this applies to DUI’s as much as to other crimes.

WE IMMIGRANTS ARE OPPOSED TO CRIMINAL ACTIVITY OF ANY KIND,

BUT it is wrong to use these tragic incidents to scapegoat all of us AS IF WE ARE CRIMINALS WHO DO NOT BELONG HERE!
We belong here as much as anyone else who has family here, who has friends, who pays taxes, who works, who supports our city and our state.
Immigrants take care of Americans, their children and their houses; make lots of money for Massachusetts businesses; have American children in school with other American children; live in American neighborhoods; have lots of Americans in their families; shop and spend money in American stores; start lots of businesses that help our economy grow; pay lots of taxes: income, payroll, sales, excise, and real estate; and, have lower crime rates than the general population

So, IS IT REALLY FAIR, IS IT JUST, to pass amendments and laws that demonize, criminalize, and persecute these people WHO CONTRIBUTE SO MUCH?

We can’t let that happen here in Massachusetts!!!! HE HAD ENOUGH RACIST BEHAVIOR AND EXCLUSION IN THE MAKING OF THIS COUNTRY.

WE STAND TOGETHER AGAINST RACIST AMENDMENTS. WE ARE AGAINST SB 2061

updated 2 years ago