"The Boss Can't Do That, Can He?" Workers Rights

"The Boss Can't Do That, Can He?" is a 10-module curriculum for teaching Workers Rights, based on Massachusetts law. The curriculum is approximately ten hours long when all parts are used, but it can be broken up into smaller pieces. Individual topic modules range from 45 minutes to two hours.

The facilitator's notes, the flipcharts and the handouts for the modules are posted below and may be downloaded. Many of the modules have been revised since the initial version. Revision dates are noted. Updated modules and materials will be posted as they are developed.

Scroll down for more detailed descriptions of the materials.

To go directly to the downloads, click here

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The information in this curriculum is mostly based on the book Your Rights on the Job, by Robert Schwartz. We highly recommend this book to anyone teaching workers rights in Massachusetts. The 5th (newest) edition is available from The Labor Guild of Boston  (781.340.7887). Since many laws have changed since the last edition of Your Rights on the Job, we have made modifications based on information gathered from the Mass.gov website


Updates

All materials in this curriculum were reviewed in September 2015, and updated as necessary, so information regarding laws, enforcement agencies and so forth are current as of that date.

Most Modules and materials were further updated in 2017 and 2019
 

Materials in Spanish and Portuguese

Spanish language versions are available for all modules, and have been updated at the same time as the Engish versions. The facilitators' outlines have not been translated, but all materials for the participants as well as the flipcharts, are available. Spanish language materials, titled "DL: Módulo X" (Derechos Laborales: Module X) will be placed directly below the equivalent English modules in the download chart at the bottom of the page.

Most of the modules are now also available in Portuguese. The Portuguese materials are titled "DT: Módulo X" (Direitos Trabalhistas...) and are placed below the equivalent Spanish modules.
 

Workers Rights for ESOL and ABE Learners

Recent immigrants to this country are among the people who could gain most from classes on workers rights. Since our curriculum is aimed at people with some literacy in English, we encourage teachers of ESOL or ABE to adapt the curriculum as needed for use with people with limited English proficiency.


The Mass. Worker Education Roundtable has developed ESOL curricula for three of our modules, the introductory class, the one on discrimination, and the one on workplace health and safety.

These curricula are available for download here.

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"The Boss Can't Do That, Can He?" details of downloads

Each Module includes:

  • Facilitator’s notes
  • Participants’ outline
  • Handouts, answer sheets and other materials
  • Diagrams of flipcharts needed for the module

Some documents which are used in more than one Module are to be found in the Appendices. These are noted below


General Pages (revised August '14)

  • Opening Materials (Includes: Cover, Authors and Acknowledgements, Table of Contents, Facilitator's Introduction and LEP contact info)


Module One: Introduction to Workers' Basic Legal Protections on the Job (updated 2019. English, Spanish and Portuguese materials available),

  • Module 1: (everything needed to teach this module except the Law Cards and the items in the Appendices.)
  • Law Cards
  • Pictures for Activity 1 are in the Appendices. (Use pictures 1, 3 or 4, 5, 11, 14, 16 or 17, 18 or 19 and 21.)
  • Other handouts in the Appendices: "Partial list of Advocacy Organizations", and "Your RIghts on the Job in Massachusetts"


Module Two: Beginning Employment: Your Pay and Your Paycheck (updated 2019. In English, Spanish and Portuguese)

  • Module 2: (everything needed to teach this module except "In Brief" section the Appendices.)
  • "In Brief" handouts in the Appendices

Module Three: Rights of Workers Under Eighteen (updated 2019. In English, Spanish and Portuguese)

  • Module 3: (everything needed to teach this module except "In Brief" section the Appendices.)
  • "In Brief" handouts in the Appendices
  • Note:If you are teaching this module, you might want to also make available copies of the Attorney General's "Guide for Working Teens", which can be downloaded from her website. Click here.


Module Four: Overtime (updated November 2019. English, Spanish and Portuguese)

  • Module 4: (everything needed to teach this module except "In Brief" section the Appendices.)
  • "Overtime In Brief" is in the Appendices


Module Five: Protection from Discrimination (updated 2019. English, Spanish and Portuguese)

  • Module 5: (everything needed to teach this module except "In Brief" section the Appendices.)
  • "Mass Fair Employment Practices Act and Title VII In Brief" is in the Appendices


Module Six: Health and Safety Protection and Workers' Compensation (updated October 2019. English, Spanish and Portuguese)

  • Module 6: (everything needed to teach this module except "In Brief" section the Appendices.)
  • Pictures for Activity 3 are in the Appendices. (Use pictures 1, 3 & 6.)
  • "In Brief" handouts in the Appendices


Module Seven: Family and Medical Leave (updated August '14. In English, Spanish and Portuguese)

  • Module 7: (everything needed to teach this module except "In Brief" section the Appendices.)
  • Family and Medical Leave Act In Brief" in the Appendices


Module Eight: Unemployment Insurance (revised August '14. English and Spanish only)

  • Module 8: (everything needed to teach this module except "In Brief" section the Appendices.)
  • "The Mass. Unemployment Insurance System In Brief" in the Appendices


Module Nine: Unions and the Right to Organize (revised August '14. English and Spanish only)

  • Module 9: (everything needed to teach this module except "In Brief" section the Appendices.)
  • "In Brief" handouts in the Appendices


Module Ten:Temp Agency Workers and Day Laborers (revised December 2019. In English, Spanish and Portuguese)

  • Module 10: (everything needed to teach this module.)

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Appendices

1. Pictures: To avoid enormous files, the pictures used in this curriculum have been divided into 3 documents for downloading:

  • Group 1: Pictures 1 - 7
  • Group 2: Pictures 8-14
  • Group 3: Pictures 15-22

Group 1: Pictures 1 - 7

    1. Slip
    2. Hazardous Waste
    3. Safety Net
    4. Dropped Wrench
    5. Help Wanted
    6. Big Brother
    7. Sick

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Group 2: Pictures 8-14

    8. Vacation
    9. Schedule
  10. Paycheck
  11. Overtime
  12. Plant Closing
  13. Retirement
  14. Disability

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Group 3: Pictures 15-22

  15. Pregnant worker
  16. Multitasking
  17. Time Issues
  18. Terminated
  19. You're fired!
  20. Signs: (fill in the issue)
  21. Petition: (fill in the buttons)
  22. Contract vs. employee handbook

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2. "In Brief" sections from Schwartz, Your Rights on the Job (all chapters) and other sources for newer laws (revised 1/'19)

3. Where to go for help

  • Government agencies (revised 8/'14)
  • Partial list of advocacy organizations (revised 8/'14)

4. Information for immigrant workers

  • Chart: Legal Rights of Undocumented Workers
  • Safe and unsafe agencies for immigrant workers (revised 5/'09)

5. Warm-up for multi-module session

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Title Type/Name Description
DL: Módulo 6

Español

Protecciones de la salud y seguridad (OSHA y Ley de Salud y Seguridad para Empleados Públicos, de Massachusetts) y Compensación del Trabajador. Materiales para participantes y ayudas visuales. Actualizado octubre de 2019.

DT: Módulo 6

Português

Proteções de Saúde e Segurança (OSHA e Lei de Saúde e Segurança de Funcionários Públicos, Massachusetts) e Remuneração do Trabalhador. Materiais para participantes e recursos visuais. Atualizado em outubro de 2019.

WR: Module 7

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Full module

DL: Módulo 7

Español

Ley de Licencia Médica o por Asuntos Familiares (FMLA). Materiales para participantes y ayudas visuales

DT: Módulo 7

Português

Lei de Licença Médica ou Familiar (FMLA) e Lei de Pequenas Necessidades. Materiais de participantes e flipcharts.

 

WR: Module 8

Unemployment Insurance

DL: Módulo 8

Español

Seguro de Desempleo. Materiales para participantes y ayudas visuales

WR: Module 9

Unions and the Right to Organize.

DL: Módulo 9

Español

Síndicatos y el Derecho a Organizarse. Materiales para participantes y ayudas visuales

WR: Module 10

Temporary and Day Laborers

Updated December 2019 with new laws and minimum wages for 2019 and 2020