Massachusetts Host Families with Cultural Care Au Pair received the email, below, from their agency.
As with so many forms of ‘official’ government communication, it’s hard to understand exactly how this bill might affect Au Pair Host Families and what any Host Family ought to do about it.
Here’s the letter, please share your thoughts in the comments. Thanks to the readers who shared this email with AuPairMom.
The letter reads:
Dear xxxxx Family,
Recently, the Massachusetts legislature passed a Domestic Workers’ Rights bill. The Massachusetts Attorney General is now charged with developing regulations to implement the bill.
It’s uncertain whether the bill applies to the J-1 Exchange Visitor au pair program. If the Massachusetts Attorney General applies the bill and its provisions to au pairs and host families, the au pair program as we know it in Massachusetts will be fundamentally changed for the worse. Some of the most concerning changes would include:
• The provisions of the Massachusetts law would transform this vibrant cultural exchange into a work program.
• Au pair families would be faced with the difficult task of complying with conflicting state and federal requirements.
• Because the Massachusetts law ignores the current federally-mandated stipend, costs to host families will increase.
As you are aware, the federal regulations which govern the au pair program provide clear guidance and protections for all program participants. As a sponsor, we believe the J-1 Exchange Visitor au pair program and its host families and participants will be best served if the Attorney General excludes the program from the provisions of the Massachusetts Domestic Workers’ Rights bill.
You can find the text of the proposed regulations here: http://www.mass.gov/ago/docs/regulations/proposed/940cmr32-proposed-regs.pdf
It’s critical that the Attorney General’s office hear from Massachusetts host families affected by this legislation. Additional details and talking points which you may wish to utilize when drafting a submission on the legislation can be downloaded here. We encourage host families who wish to comment on this bill to e-mail the Attorney General at email@example.com no later than Friday, May 15. Please be sure to include the phrase “Domestic Workers” in your subject line.
Thank you for your support and for your continued commitment to cultural exchange.
Cultural Care Au Pair