Western Massachusetts lawmakers file bill to improve workers’ rights

Boston Statehouse

Two western Massachusetts lawmakers want to protect workers while holding companies accountable for wrongful termination.

Northampton State Representative Lindsay Sabadosa is joining forces with Representative Paul Mark of Peru to file the workers’ rights legislation. 

House Bill 16-76 aims to extend unemployment benefits during labor disputes, an issue that came to light after National Grid workers were locked out of their jobs more than 6 months during contract negotiations.

Despite push back from National Grid, Governor Baker extended unemployment benefits for the locked-out workers. 

“We need to start stepping in to protect our workers because it is unacceptable that people are not able to work one job and support their families. It is the responsibility of the Commonwealth to protect our residents,” Representative Sabadosa said. 

The second half of the workers’ rights legislation would require employers to provide significant evidence when terminating an employee. 

Representative Paul Mark described the bill as a way to improve economic outcomes for all workers. The bill’s sponsors are hoping to bring more stability to the Massachusetts workforce.

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