Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights Health Impact Assessment

Status: Past Project
Year: 2013
Location: Massachusetts
Client: Foundations and Bank Trusts
Services Provided: Assessment and Planning, Policy & Health Systems Improvement
Technical Expertise: Other

Health Resources in Action conducted a health impact assessment (HIA) on Massachusetts House Bill 4026, otherwise known as the Massachusetts Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights (BoR).  This legislation, introduced in January 2013, would amend state labor law to guarantee domestic workers (including, but not limited to, nannies, caregivers, and housekeepers) basic work standards and protections.

Using a mixed methods approach, HRiA aimed to characterize MA’s domestic worker population, of which there was limited information, and rigorously assess the law’s potential health effects on domestic workers, their families, and the recipients of their services.  While there were numerous provisions in the proposed law, the HIA focused upon two specific provisions: the right to a written contract and the right to privacy.  The HIA demonstrated potential for positive health impacts and made recommendations for how to ensure the greatest health benefits upon passage and implementation.

In addition to the HIA, HRiA hosted a legislative breakfast for state legislators to hear about the findings of the health impact assessment, and also build demand within the legislature for incorporating the health lens into policy development overall.

This project was supported by a grant from the National Network of Public Health Institutes’ Increasing National Capacity for HIAs: Using the Nation’s Public Health Institutes through support from the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts.

A Health Impact Assessment of the Massachusetts Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights