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State senate passes domestic workers’ bill of rights

Anjum Asharia (right) greeted nanny Abigail Hardin as the NannyVan pulled up to Peter Looney Park in Charlestown.

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

Anjum Asharia (right) greeted nanny Abigail Hardin as the NannyVan pulled up to Peter Looney Park in Charlestown.

The state senate on Thursday passed a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, moving the measure closer to becoming law and giving nannies and house cleaners some of the same protections employees in other lines of work take for granted.

Under the bill, domestic workers would have more clarity about their work duties and wages, and would gain protections from sexual harrassment, trafficking and retaliation for asserting wage violations.

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“We are thrilled that our bill has moved one step closer to becoming a law. Domestic workers can now come out of the shadows and create a more safe and secure workforce,” said Lydia Edwards on behalf of the Massachusetts Coalition for Domestic Workers.

Similar bills have passed in New York, California, and Hawaii. The Massachusetts House has passed a version of the bill; the two versions must now be reconciled.

“I am proud to be a part of making history and assuring that nannies, house cleaners and personal care attendants are treated with respect and dignity,” said Senator Anthony Petruccelli , Democrat from East Boston and lead sponsor of the bill, in a statement.

Beth Healy can be reached at beth.healy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @HealyBeth.
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