- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
- The Attorney General's Fair Labor Division
Media Contact for Three Couples Cited Nearly $450,000 for Failing to Pay Their Live-In Domestic Workers
Boston — In three separate cases, Attorney General Maura Healey has issued nine citations totaling $449,010 to three families living in Massachusetts who employed live-in domestic workers and violated the state’s domestic worker protections as well as wage and hour laws.
All three families were cited for failing to comply with the Massachusetts Domestic Workers Bill of Rights and failing to pay minimum wage and overtime to four former live-in domestic workers that provided childcare, housekeeping and food preparation services. Khalifa Mohamed Aldhaheri and Mona Alqubaisi were cited $168,783 in restitution and penalties, Saif Almazrouei and Moza Alsuwaidi were cited $119,856 in restitution and penalties, and Hessa and Mohmmed Khamis Al Khaili were cited $160,371 in restitution and penalties.
“These families took advantage of their live-in employees by subjecting them to long work days without proper pay,” said AG Healey. “Our office will always advocate on behalf of domestic workers to make sure they don’t fall victim to exploitative practices.”
The AG’s Office began investigating these three employers after receiving referrals from Boston University Law School’s Human Trafficking Clinic and Greater Boston Legal Services. All three employers are originally from the United Arab Emirates and traveled to Massachusetts after hiring their domestic workers, who are all from the Philippines, abroad. In the three cases, the AG’s Fair Labor Division discovered that once in Massachusetts, the domestic workers were subject to long hours of work for which their employers failed to appropriately pay them, often sending small sums of money to the workers’ families via wire transfers in place of actual wages.
The AG’s Office has been active in its enforcement of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. In June 2017, a Malaysian couple living in Cambridge paid $35,000 and in May 2016, a couple from Qatar paid $3,000 to resolve allegations that the couples failed to properly pay live-in employees for childcare services in violation of the state’s wage, hour, and domestic worker laws.
The AG’s Office enforces laws regulating the payment of wages, including prevailing wage, minimum wage, overtime laws, and the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. This law regulates working and rest time, charges for food and lodging, and circumstances around termination for domestic workers in Massachusetts. The protections established by the law apply regardless of immigration status. The law requires employers to make and keep records of the hours worked by any domestic worker and provides guidelines for work evaluations and written employment agreements. Visit the AG’s website for more information on labor trafficking and the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
Workers who believe that their rights have been violated are encouraged to file a complaint at www.mass.gov/ago/wagetheft. For information about the state’s wage and hour laws, workers may call the Office’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465 or go to the Attorney General’s Workplace Rights website www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor for materials in multiple languages.
These matters were handled by Assistant Attorney General Meryum Khan, Supervising Investigator Jennifer Pak, and Investigator Kevin Shanahan, all of AG Healey’s Fair Labor Division.