Labor & workforce development

Senator Friedman is taking the lead on the following bills that were originally filed by the late Senator Ken Donnelly at the start of the 2017-2018 legislative session:

S177 An Act to increase contributions to the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund

  • Summary: Similar to the Workforce Training Fund (WTF), this bill would finance the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) through an additional unemployment insurance assessment paid by Massachusetts employers. The amount of the assessment would be based on the number of current employees employed by individual employers.

S352 An Act relative to home care workforce initiatives

  • Summary: This bill would require the adjustment of rates and capitations for home and community-based services, including home care aides and home health aides, to enhance wages across this industry. “Capitation” refers to a payment arrangement for health care service providers.

S1000 An Act establishing fair scheduling practices for employees in the Commonwealth

  • Summary: This bill would require employers to compensate employees when changes or cancellations are made to “on-call” work shifts.

S1001 An Act relative to wage enforcement statutes of limitations

  • Summary: This bill would increase equity and uniformity in employment and contract statutes by increasing the statute of limitations (SOL) for prevailing wage, tips, overtime and wage withholding complaints, from 3 to 6 years. This would match the current SOL for an employer to bring a breach of contract complaint against an employee (i.e., 6 years).

S1002 An Act relative to permissible topics of collective bargaining

  • Summary: This bill would update the arbitration law for the Joint Labor Management Committee to ensure that provisions of contracts that were included in previous contract negotiations, but not in current dispute, could be arbitrated and part of a newly awarded contract.

S1003 An Act amending the unemployment insurance law for workers with fluctuating work schedules

  • Summary: This bill would fix a legal loophole where certain workers, who would otherwise be eligible, are ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits because of the time-frame their prior work history.

S1005 An Act to ensure funding for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund

  • Summary: This bill would direct all Workforce Training Fund (WTF) assessment proceeds collected in excess of the annual $22 million cap to be transferred to the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF).

S1006 An Act to diversify the use of the Workforce Training Fund to support the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund

  • Summary: This bill would allow up to 5% of Workforce Training Fund (WTF) funds to be used annually for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF).

S1692 An Act relative to state contracting

  • Summary: This bill would add a new section to the state finance law to clarify that prevailing wage laws apply to any and all state departments, institutions, and regional authorities. In addition, it adds janitorial and custodial workers and security guards to the list of contracted employees covered by the prevailing wage in such departments.

S1696 An Act relative to debarment in public contracts

  • Summary: This bill would make certain debarments of contractors mandatory, including debarments for convictions for fraud or embezzlement, violations of state or federal laws related to campaign contributions and violations of state or federal laws regulating hours of labor, wages or worker’s compensation. This bill would also increase the fines and penalties for debarred contractors that continue to contract illegally.

Senator Friedman has co-sponsored the following bills relative to labor and workforce development in the 2017-2018 legislative session:

S989 An Act relative to defense against abusive waivers

  • Summary: This bill would prevent employers from requiring their employees to waive rights and remedies relating to future claims of discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, non-payment of wages, and violations of public policy.

S997 An Act relative to enhanced enforcement of civil penalties

  • Summary: This bill would authorize the Attorney General’s Office to enforce wage and hour violations directly in the Massachusetts courts.

S999 An Act to prevent wage theft and promote employer accountability

  • Summary: This bill would propose various provisions to prevent wage theft and promote employer accountability.

S1022 An Act establishing collective bargaining rights for TNC drivers

  • Summary: This bill would establish the right of Transportation Network Company (TNC) drivers (i.e., Uber and Lyft drivers) to organize and collectively bargain.

S1442 An Act relative to protecting the rights of custodial and other non-teaching employees of school districts

  • Summary: This bill would add custodial and non-teaching public school staff positions to General Laws Chapter 71 for the purposes of collective bargaining.