BOSTON (Aug. 26)
Gov. Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts has signed into law the Discriminatory Boycott Bill. Albert Schlossberg, president of the Jewish Community Council of Metropolitan Boston, hailed passage of the bill as “a reaffirmation of American protection for all.”
A number of community and national Jewish and non-Jewish groups were actively involved in supporting the statewide drive for legislation led by the chairman of JCC’s Arab-Boycott Subcommittee, Maurice Zilber, who represented the American Jewish Committee. Principal draftsman for the bill was attorney Kenneth Sweder, chairman of the American Jewish Congress Commission on Law and Social Action.
The bill prohibits companies doing business in Massachusetts from making agreements with foreign persons to discriminate against Massachusetts companies or persons on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin or appearance on foreign blacklist. Massachusetts companies also are prohibited from actually discriminating against persons in the state because of foreign boycott agreement and are prohibited from employment discrimination within the state or in appointment in the state for jobs abroad.
The state’s Attorney General is authorized to enforce this statute through civil procedures including injunctions. Injured persons may also sue in actions for damages and may be awarded up to three times the amount of damages resulting from violations of the act.