03/10/2017

Workers’ Rights

An Act clarifying the meal break law to allow for private enforcementS.1010

Under current law, workers cannot seek damages for being denied their legal rights to a 30-minute meal break for after every six hours of work. Instead, the Attorney General must prosecute for denying meal breaks to their employees. This bill enables employees to privately prosecute employers, saving money and resources while insuring all legitimate cases are brought to court without needing to go through the Attorney General’s office. This commonsense legislation would allow workers to seek compensation when their employers violate their right to meal breaks, just as they can when employers withhold their paychecks.

An Act providing retirement options for private sector employeesS.1701

This bill ensures the treasurer and receiver general, on behalf of the commonwealth, will sponsor a qualified defined retirement plan that may be adopted by private sector employers for their employee. The treasurer will appoint a director to oversee the enrollment of private sector employees in the state retirement system and the director will provide assistance to the treasurer, private sector employers that participate in the plan and their employees

An Act increasing injured workers’ access to medical care and workers’ compensation benefitsS.1011

The bill would increase injured workers’ access to medical care by having the expenses of the interpreter and transportation be under the responsibility of the insurer. It would also provide information in the Notice to Employees be in languages other than English and be given by hand to the employee. This bill will also increase workers’ compensation benefits by having the insurer and judges take into account Massachusetts minimum wage and overtime laws when making the Average Weekly Wage (AWW).