Urge your state legislators to co-sponsor workers' rights bills in Massachusetts

Workers deserve more rights

We live in a culture where corporations simply have too much power. Currently, they can:

  • Ask us to sign away our rights
  • Push us out of our jobs for any reason or no reason
  • Work while grieving a loved one
  • Check our credit in the hiring process
  • Fail to conduct investigations for reports of sexual harassment
  • Discriminate against those suffering from domestic violence
  • Retaliate against injured workers
  • Make it difficult for us to leave toxic workplaces when our healthcare is tied to our jobs
  • Silence us when we've been abused
  • Pay some workers below minimum wage
  • Not grant sufficient sick leave amid COVID-19
  • Conduct abusive scheduling practices
  • Avoid accountability for discrimination through wages and promotions
  • Steal wages
  • Block public employees from striking
  • Ask about our desired salary ranges, which has a discriminatory impact
  • Verbally abuse and sabotage workers with zero accountability

We can change this toxic culture for workers through by passing these bills into law:

Abusive waivers, S1184 / H1890
In their next job search, workers might encounter employers asking them to waive their rights to basic protections. The abusive waivers bill would void provisions in contracts waiving rights or remedies relating to claims of discrimination, nonpayment of wages or benefits, retaliation, or harassment in employment. California, Maryland, New York, Vermont, and Washington have already banned these waivers.

At-will employment, H1946
Employees are at the will of their employers aside from difficult-to-prove discrimination. Once employers push these workers out, workers have no rights. The at-will employment bill prohibiting constructive discharge and wrongful termination would address this rampant issue. Montana is the only state to ban at-will employment.

Bereavement leave, S1145 / H1879
Workers deserve time off to properly grieve a loved one without worrying about losing their jobs. Bereavement leave bills would give workers time off to address the death.

Credit reports, S1144
Employers should not use credit reports or ask candidates to disclose their credit worthiness, standing, or capacity as criteria for employment.

Domestic violence, S1152 / H1918

Victims of domestic violence and family members of them sometimes experience discharge or others forms of discrimination at work or in the hiring process. But they deserve reasonable accommodations at work rather than forced to take leave if the accommodations won't impose undue hardships on employers.

Farm workers' fairness, S1837 / H2812
This bill will expand rights for farm workers by increasing the minimum wage, changing paid time off accrual to 55 hours per year, and providing overtime pay.

Independent investigations for sexual harassment, S2061
To expand workers' rights, we need a state legislature in which leadership celebrates diverse voices (women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community) rather than dictates and silences those harassed. The Equality and Respect in the Workplace bill would create an independent commission to investigate allegations of harassment and prohibit retaliation.

Injured workers, S1165 / H1927
We need stronger anti-retaliation law. This bill provides for an administrative complaint and investigation mechanism for enforcement and otherwise addresses employer misconduct that prevents workers from receiving timely medical care and benefits.

Intensive stabilization and treatment units within the Department of Mental Health, S1268 / H1989
This bill would create two Intensive Stabilization and Treatment units within the Department of Mental Health- one for males and one for females. Under this bill, patients exhibiting extreme aggression, highly assaultive behavior and/or self-destructive behavior would be admitted to a specialized unit. These units would be highly physically separate, secure, structured environments with specially trained staff, in order to protect all patients and staff.

Mandatory overtime protections, S1147 / H1867
This bill would clarify the prohibition on mandatory overtime in hospitals to ensure all hospitals are following the 2012 law.

Medicare for all, S744 / H1239
Guaranteed equitable health care access for all through a single payer health care financing system will ensure healthcare without regard to financial or employment status, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, previous health problems, or geographic location. This safety net will make it easier for workers to leave toxic workplaces. The act will provide access to healthcare services that are continuous, without the current need for repeated re-enrollments or changes when employers choose new plans and residents change jobs. Coverage shall be comprehensive and affordable, with no co-insurance, co-payments, or deductibles.

One fair wage for tipped employees, S1188
Our tipped workers (restaurant workers, drivers, and grocery pickers and deliverers) don't make enough money to qualify for unemployment insurance in ways that non-tipped workers do. The One Fair Wage bill phases out the discriminatory subminimum wage for tipped workers that disproportionately affected women, making it gradually match the regular minimum wage.

Patient handling and mobility in certain health facilities, S1436 / H2247
This bill would require healthcare facilities to adopt and implement a safe patient handling and mobility program to identify, assess, and develop strategies to control risk of injury to patients and healthcare workers associated with the lifting, transferring, repositioning, or movement of a patient or equipment.

Patient safety and equitable access to care, S1361 / H2196
Healthcare is the #1 industry for workplace abuse. and unrealistic workloads harm both healthcare workers and patients. This bill would require the Department of Public Health to set limits on the number of patients a nurse can care for at one time. Limits would be set by hospital unit. A series of public hearings would be held to provide an opportunity for stakeholder input.

Right to strike for public employees, SD1217 / H1845
Withholding labor is a fundamental human right. Strikes and the threat of them are a part of the collective bargaining process, especially for teachers, police, and firefighters. This bill calls for a repeal of a state law that bans public sector workers from going on strike.

Safeguards for home healthcare workers, S1472 / H2128

This bill would require safety assessments of all home healthcare settings prior to services being provided. These assessments would include the current psychiatric/psychological/emotional status of patients, any other individuals who may be present, any criminal history of patients or other individuals who may be present as well as the surrounding environment, and the presence of any weapons. Home healthcare providers would be empowered to leave dangerous situations without loss of pay or disciplinary action and would be provided time off for healthcare workers assaulted on the job to address legal issues.

Wage data reporting, S1181 / H1940
Public reporting of the gender and racial makeup of workforces and de-identified wage and salary data available by protected category is crucial for employer accountability for bias. If the data were made public, it would allow potential plaintiffs and attorneys an opportunity to assess the likelihood that illegal discrimination plays a role in the reward structures of employers. While the data may reveal equity, in many cases it could reveal disparities that employers could voluntarily remedy or allow workers to file suit. California has already passed the Fair Pay Act that protects the rights of workers to ask about the compensation of coworkers in similar jobs.

Wage theft, S1158 / H1868
This bill would hold lead contractors accountable for the wage theft violations of their subcontractors as long as there is a significant connection to their business activities or operations. It would also protect workers from wage theft violations such as failure to make wage payments, failure to abide by minimum wage, prevailing wage and overtime laws, and independent contractor misclassification and strengthen workers’ protection against retaliation. Ultimately, it would promote fair competition by ensuring that all businesses, including lead contractors, play by the rules and give their workers an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work.

Wage transparency, S1191 / H1849

Massachusetts lawmakers made it illegal to ask about salary history, understanding the discriminatory impact of the question with accumulative differences among demographics. But employers can still ask for desired salary ranges, having the same effect. Instead, this bill calls for employers providing the pay scale for a particular employment position, which also benefits employers.

Workplace abuse, H1882,
the Workplace Psychological Safety Act
Workplace bullying is a severe and pervasive phenomenon in the US involving a violation of the basic human right to dignity. Bullying tactics include false accusations, exclusion, withholding necessary resources, sabotage, verbal abuse, put-downs, and unreasonable demands — resulting in a host of stress-related symptoms including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and suicide ideation. This bill would hold employers accountable for abusive conduct.

Workplace violence, S1539 / H2330 and S906 / H1657
The first set of bills would require healthcare employers to perform an annual safety risk assessment and, based on those findings, develop and implement programs to minimize the danger of workplace violence to employees and patients. It would also provide time off for healthcare workers assaulted on the job to address legal issues and require semi-annual reporting of assaults on healthcare employees.

This second set of bills would increase the penalties for assaulting emergency medical technicians, ambulance operators, ambulance attendants and other healthcare providers, including nurses, and make it a felony punishable by up to five years in state prison.

Sponsored by
Westborough, MA