Domestic Workers’ Win Makes Illinois 7th State to Offer Protections

MEDIA ADVISORY for Tuesday, August 16 10am

Illinois Domestic Workers Claim Victory in 5-Year Campaign

Friday’s bill signing makes Illinois 7th state to provide domestic workers with legal protections

Media Contact: Shelly Ruzicka                                                                                                

 773-251-5003 | shelly[at]arisechicago[dot]org | @AriseChicago

What: Press conference and celebration announcing historic passage into law of the Illinois Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights

When: Tuesday, August 16 at 10am

Where: Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law: 50 E. Washington, Suite 500, Chicago

Who: Illinois Domestic Workers’ Coalition, domestic workers from the Black, Latino, Filipino, and Polish communities; faith and labor leaders; and legislators.


  • House sponsor Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez
  • Domestic workers: Grace Padao, AFIRE Chicago; Magdalena Zylinska, Arise Chicago; Maria Esther Bolaños, Latino Union
  • Wendy Pollack, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
  • Religious Leaders


Decades after the passage of the 1938 federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which excluded domestic workers and was mimicked by many states, including Illinois, Gov. Rauner signed House Bill 1288 into law last Friday, granting Illinois domestic workers the same protections that other workers have had for generations.

After a five year campaign by the Illinois Domestic Workers Coalition, Illinois home cleaners, nannies, and home care workers will now have basic workplace protections under state law.

The new law, sponsored by Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-8th District) in the Senate, and Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez (D-24th District) in the House, gives nannies, housecleaners, home care workers, and other domestic workers the same employment protections that workers in other industries have by amending four state laws that currently exclude domestic workers. This includes the Minimum Wage Law, the Illinois Human Rights Act, the One Day of Rest in Seven Act, and the Wages of Women and Minors Act.

The new law will ensure that all domestic workers receive the state minimum wage, protection against sexual harassment, as well as a day of rest for workers employed by one employer for at least 20 hours a week.

The bill’s signing makes Illinois the 7th state in the U.S. with domestic worker protections. The law will take effect Jan. 1, 2017.

The Illinois Domestic Workers’ Coalition is powered by local organizations, including AFIRE Chicago, Arise Chicago, Latino Union, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Women Employed, Heartland Alliance, and SEIU-HCII, as well as domestic workers, advocacy and community groups, and allies. The Coalition is supported by the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States. For more information, please visit:


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