Senator Eric Lesser Votes to Pass Worker Protection Legislation

BOSTON–Senator Eric P. Lesser (D-Longmeadow) voted in support of three successful Senate bills Thursday that enhance compensation and protections for Massachusetts workers.

“These initiatives make significant improvements for workers across the Commonwealth by expanding workers’ compensation and giving the Attorney General greater authority to represent workers in cases of employment law violations,” Sen. Lesser said.

The first bill, An Act relative to fairness in workers’ compensation disfigurement benefits, expands workers’ compensation to apply to cases of scar-based disfigurement on any part of the body, rather than only on the head and neck. It also increases the maximum benefit for this type of disfigurement to 22.5 times the state average weekly wage, an increase over the previous flat rate of $15,000.

The second bill, An Act relative to enhanced enforcement of civil penalties, authorizes the Attorney General to seek damages or lost wages on behalf of workers for violations of employment law.

The two bills passed the Senate and now move to the House for consideration.

Sen. Lesser also voted in support of a successful measure to bring the Commonwealth into compliance with the U.S. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014. This change will allow Massachusetts to qualify for more federal workforce development funds. The bill passed in the House earlier this month and now goes to the Governor’s desk for signature into law.

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