‘It was not fair’: Mass. family pushes for domestic violence protections for all workers

BOSTON — Fighting for equal protection for all workers who are victims of domestic violence. A Webster family continues their push in honor of their daughter.

“If you’re working, you’re earning a paycheck, you’re paying taxes, don’t you have the rights for protection,” said Webster’s mother, Beth Dabrowski. “That’s why we fight”

Beth and Ed Dabrowski and their daughter Victoria took that fight to the State House Tuesday in honor of their daughter, Amanda Dabrowski.

Amanda was attacked during a violent home invasion inside her home in Ayer in the early morning hours of Easter Sunday, 2019. Her alleged attacker, a coworker and ex-boyfriend Carlos Asencio.

As 25 Investigations has documented, Amanda notified her employer of the attack but learned she was terminated just two days later.

Massachusetts has employment protections for victims of domestic violence, up to 15 days of leave. But right now, it only applies to full-time employees. Amanda was a contracted worker.

“Anyone who is a victim, needs that time,” said dad, Ed Dabrowski. “Get back up on their feet, get the help they need whether that be physical, emotional.”

And that’s what the family told the Joint Committee on Labor Workforce Development, adding being a victim of a brutal assault should not cost you your job.

“It was not right, it was not fair, and she was absolutely devastated,” Beth Dabrowski told lawmakers.

“This is common sense,” said State Senator Ryan Fattman (R -Worcester 18th) who’s co-sponsoring legislation for the third consecutive session, hoping to ensure domestic violence protections for all workers in the state.

“15 days, paid, unpaid, to the discretion of the employer. If they are victims, they deserve the time off to get their situation fixed, medically, mentally whatever it might take,” Fattman told anchor and investigative reporter Kerry Kavanaugh.

Fattman says he’s confident this bill will gain momentum this year, perhaps getting a boost during the hearing. Attorney General Andrea Campbell was there for something else, but she gave a nod to the Dabrowskis’ push for change.

“It changes the dynamic in the room and frankly the energy in the room when you hear such a painful story, so I wanted to first acknowledge that,” she told the committee.

Two months after the home invasion attack, police say Amanda’s ex-boyfriend tracked her down to a crowded Worcester restaurant where he stabbed her multiple times.

Amanda was 31 when she was murdered. Her family now hoping to this simple change in the law will become part of her legacy.

“I think we want to fix this loophole. I don’t think it was intended,” said Ed Dabrowksi. “Hopefully this will fix it and help someone down the road.”

25 Investigates will let you know if this bill gets voted out of committee and we’ll follow it from there.

The trial for Amanda’s alleged killer is set to begin in June, early four years after her murder.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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