Governor Patrick signed into law a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights on Wednesday, making Massachusetts the fourth state in the country to provide protections for nannies and housekeepers that most employees at companies take for granted.
Under the new law, in-home workers will have basic labor protections including more clearly defined working hours and tasks, as well as freedom from sexual harassment, trafficking, and retaliation for complaining about wage violations.
“It’s been a long road for domestic workers,’’ said Monica Halas of Greater Boston Legal Services, one of the leaders of the coalition to secure rights for domestic workers. “We’ve been really waiting since the 1930s to secure these rights.’’
Massachusetts follows New York, California, and Hawaii in enacting such a law. There are about 60,000 domestic workers in the Commonwealth, according to the coalition. Most are women, and many are immigrants and minorities.