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National Domestic Workers Alliance Applauds Federal Court Decision Upholding Labor Protections Under the Massachusetts Domestic Worker Bill of Rights

Washington, DC -- Yesterday, a federal judge in Massachusetts dismissed a lawsuit brought by Culture Care Au Pair and rejected their efforts to undercut labor protections won by domestic workers under the Massachusetts Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. This effort marks the third failed strategy by the profit-driven au pair industry to exclude au pairs from the Massachusetts Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, having also come short in garnering legislative support to amend the law and narrow the scope through the regulatory process.

To date, domestic workers have successfully led campaigns in eight states to win labor protections for the domestic work sector - which includes nannies, house cleaners and direct care workers for the elderly and people with disabilities. Federal law has historically exempted domestic workers from certain labor protections and domestic workers led groups like Massachusetts Coalition for Domestic Workers and the National Domestic Workers Alliance have fought to win concrete labor standards for domestic workers, including au pairs. The Massachusetts Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, which went into effect in 2015, extends labor protections such as rest periods, protections from unauthorized deductions, notice of termination or severance pay for live-in workers and access to parental leave for all domestic workers, including au pairs.

“For years au pair industry players, such as Cultural Care Au Pair, have argued that au pairs should be exempted from basic labor protections in the name of profit margins. Au pairs, who come to the US on cultural exchange visas, provide full-time in-home childcare to over 1000 American families in Massachusetts. We applaud the court’s decision to throw out this baseless lawsuit. This marks another victory for domestic workers in Massachusetts, who through their organizing and leadership have won important protections that raise the standards for domestic workers in Massachusetts and beyond,” said Sameera Hafiz, Advocacy Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

About National Domestic Workers Alliance

The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States, most of whom are women. Founded in 2007, NDWA works for the respect, recognition, and inclusion in labor protections for domestic workers. It’s won legislation protecting domestic workers’ rights in eight states including California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York and Oregon. The Alliance is powered by over 60 affiliate organizations—plus its first local chapter in Atlanta—of over 15,000 nannies, housekeepers, and caregivers for the elderly and people with disabilities in 37 cities and 18 states.