• Domestic Violence: An Act Enhancing Protection for Victims of Domestic Violence (S1897) is a
comprehensive domestic violence bill to prohibit the use of accord and satisfaction in domestic violence cases and to correct flaws in MGL ch. 265 § 13M. In addition, it includes provisions dealing with strangulation and workplace protections to victims of domestic violence, requiring employers with 50 or more employees to provide up to 15 days of leave per year for a victimized employee to take time to deal with court, housing, health or other issues related to the abuse. (passed by the Senate and referred to House Ways & Means)
• Employment: The WBA supports An Act Further Defining Comparable Work (H1767/H1702) which would add four objective characteristics (skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions) with which to compare jobs under the existing Comparable Work statute, MGL c.149§105A. (Labor & Workforce Development Hearing held 6/25/13)
• Health Education: An Act Relative to Healthy Youth (H3793) which, for schools providing sexuality education, requires a age-appropriate, medically accurate sexual health curriculum, including making healthy decisions about relationships and sexuality. (sent to the House Ways & Means after second reading 1/21/14)
• Welfare - The WBA supports an Act Promoting Financial Stability and Asset Development (S37/H93) to raise the asset limits for TAFDC (now $2,500) and Emergency Aid to Elders, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) (now $250) to $10,000; to allow each licensed driver in a family to have a car; and to allow recipients to keep and responsibly spend down lump sum payments up to $10,000. It also will have some training and education components. (Favorably reported by Committee on Children and Families to House Ways & Means 6/19/13)
• Earned Paid Sick Time: The WBA supports an Act Establishing Earned Paid Sick Time (S900/H1739) to give employees a one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. The total per year increases from 40 hours of unpaid but job-protected for companies with fewer than 6 employees to 40 hours paid per year for 6 to 10 employees and 56 hours paid per year for 11 or more employees. This bill protects public health by minimizing the spread of illness; saves employers money by reducing spread among workers, reducing diminished productivity and turnover; and levels the playing field for employers who already offer paid sick days and balances the needs of business and workers. (Labor & Workforce Development Hearing held 9/24/13)
• Legal Services Funding: The WBA supports funding increase to $17M for FY2015 budget item 0321-1600: General Support for legal services, funding for Battered Women’s Legal Assistance Project, a program for advocacy for Medicare advocacy and a Disability Benefits Project.
• Equal Rights Amendment: The WBA supports An Act Providing Equitable Coverage in Disability Insurance, S427/H838, which would prohibit gender discrimination in disability policies. (Financial Services)