- The Department of Labor Standards (DLS) Asbestos Program is responsible for the regulation of occupational asbestos exposure in the Commonwealth. The Program works with employers, employees, unions and state and local agencies to create healthier and safer work conditions for Massachusetts workers through site visits, analytical services, and technical information. The Program aids in the coordination of OSHA, EPA and Multi-State regulatory authorities along with the North Eastern U.S. States (CONES) in the common goal of protecting the public from long term damage from excessive asbestos exposure.
Lead poisoning is a major, preventable environmental health problem for both children and adults. In children, it may cause developmental problems, lower IQ, behavioral problems, language delay, anemia, damage to the nervous system and other problems. High lead levels in adults can cause high blood pressure, headaches, memory problems, kidney damage, irritability, difficulty sleeping, nerve disorders, muscle or joint pain and damage to the reproductive system. Public health problems related to lead poisoning results in billions of dollars in health care costs to taxpayers and the government. Although bans on leaded gasoline and paint have greatly reduced the incidence of dangerous lead levels in children, many children are still at risk for damaging lead exposure. Lead paint and the related dust and chips are the leading cause of high lead levels in U.S. children.The goal of the Department of Labor Standard's(DLS) Lead Program is to reduce the incidence and severity of lead exposures for the Commonwealth's workers and other members of the general public. DLS accomplishes this goal by administering and enforcing standards for renovation, repair and painting carried out in older homes and child-occupied facilities that may contain lead paint as well as for deleading operations. DLS also administers the Occupational Blood Lead Registry, which tracks elevated blood lead levels among adults, provides educational counseling and guidance to workers, and through its medical consultant, offers advice to physicians on the medical management of lead poisoning.
- The Employment Agency Program protects the rights of workers being placed by employment agencies,and ensures those agencies use fair, ethical, and legal business practices.We cover Modeling Agencies, Home Careplacement Agencies, Nanny and/or Babysitter, Placement Agencies, Temporary Staffing and Labor Firms, Permanent Placement Employment Firms.
- The Department of Labor Standards(DLS) administers the Commonwealth's Minimum Fair Wage Law, MGL ch. 151, sec. 1 through 22.
The Minimum Fair Wage Law and Regulations address not only the payment of the basic minimum wage but also overtime; the minimum wage for tipped employees; reporting pay; on-duty or on-call time; travel time and expenses; deductions for lodging, meals, and uniforms; and wage records that employers are required to keep. If you have a question about the meaning of a provision in the Minimum Wage Law or Regulations, see the Minimum Wage and Overtime FAQs section below. If your question is not answered by the FAQs, email the Minimum Wage Program at Minimum.Wage@state.ma.us or call 617-626-6952.
The Massachusetts Minimum Wage is $8.00 per hour. The Service Rate is $2.63 per hour.
In 1990 the Massachusetts Legislature passed the Occupational Lead Poisoning Registry Law (M.G.L. Chapter 149 Sec. 11A). The Registry was created because occupational exposure to lead is still a major cause of disease. Excessive exposure can cause serious damage to the blood, kidneys and nervous and reproductive systems. Occupational lead poisoning is still quite common in the U.S., despite the availability of effective control technologies and the existence of state and federal regulations designed to limit exposure. The Occupational Lead Poisoning Registry tracks elevated blood lead levels, provides educational counseling and guidance to workers, and through its medical consultant, offers advice to physicians on the medical management of lead poisoning.
New Electronic Reporting System for Clinical Laboratories
The Occupational Lead Poisoning Registry (Registry) will be shifting to an electronic system for labs to report adult elevated blood lead results. As of November 21st, 2014 clinical laboratories will be required to send all adult (defined as 15 years old and older) blood lead results that are above zero mcg/dl (0 mcg/dl). In order to reduce the burden of this reporting requirement, the Registry has developed two electronic means for clinical labs to submit data. Clinical labs will be able to send blood lead results as a text (TXT) file in HL7 (2.3.1 or 2.5.1) format directly to the Registry through sFTP or through the Massachusetts Health Information Exchange (Mass HIway). For information on how to take advantage of this new, easier reporting system click HERE.