By Maura Healey | April 14, 2020
I’m writing to provide you with another update during these uncertain times. Please continue to contact us with your questions and concerns – we want to be there for you and do everything we can to support you. The Attorney General’s Office has resources available in a number of areas, including:
Equity: There are real and serious disparities in this pandemic that have brought to light longstanding inequities in the distribution of care and treatment for Black and Brown families in Massachusetts and across the country. These communities are being disproportionately impacted and need our support. The AG’s Office is committed to working with advocates and stakeholders to address these disparities, call for more race and ethnicity-based data to help drive the best public outcomes, and identify hotspots so communities can get the testing and treatment they need. We’ve launched a resource page for immigrants that is available in multiple languages, and have engaged with the AG’s Advisory Councils on New Americans and Racial Justice and Equity.
Standing up for Workers: From health care professionals to first responders to grocery store employees to Uber and Lyft drivers – the workers on the front lines of this crisis must be fully supported. I’m standing with workers to demand that they receive the protective equipment and paid leave that they need and deserve. If you have a workplace complaint, please file online or call the AG’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465.
Coronavirus-Related Scams: Bad actors are taking advantage of COVID-19 to scam individuals and businesses through calls, texts and emails. They might claim to represent a pandemic-related charity or federal disaster relief fund, or to be working on treatments or vaccines. You can protect yourself by not trusting your caller ID, taking your time to respond, verifying voicemails, and reporting scams. You should report illegal robocalls to the FTC.
Boston Sports Club: Boston Sports Club was not honoring its members’ requests to cancel their memberships and continued to charge members illegally, so we sent them a demand letter formally requesting that they fix this problem. As a result, they agreed to stop charging members while clubs are closed and to allow members to cancel without paying penalty, as required by state law. If you continue to have issues with Boston Sports Club, please contact our office at (617) 727-8400 or file a complaint here.
Smoking & Vaping: A person who smokes or vapes is more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus. The AG’s office partnered with Mass General Hospital to release an advisory about the risks associated with smoking and vaping. If you are a smoker or vaper, please contact your doctor to discuss the use of the Nicotine patch or gum. You can also call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or text the word “QUIT” (7848) to IQUIT (47848) for free help.
Abortion Access: During this crisis, we must preserve access to reproductive health care, including abortions. I joined with my fellow Democratic AttorneysGeneral to send a letter to the Trump Administration urging the FDA to lift restrictions that prevent doctors from using telehealth to prescribe medicine abortion drugs. Last week, I spoke with NARAL President Ilyse Hogue on Instagram live about why this is a critical step to ensuring patients receive the care they need.
I’ll be back in touch next week with more updates. In the meantime, please make sure your friends and family are signed up for our weekly email updates so they can stay informed too. Please continue to practice social distancing, wear your masks, and support one another!
All my best,