Advocates for worker’s rights were in Springfield Wednesday while the State Senate considered a new bill that would provide workplace protections for domestic workers. Currently, domestic workers such as housekeepers, nannies, and caregivers have fewer rights than many workers in other fields. House Bill 1288 would allow domestic workers access to the state minimum wage, the right to one day off a week, and protections against sexual harassment. Ann Jakubek of Arise Chicago, a worker’s rights group, suggests the passage of the new law would be beneficial for domestic workers across the state by giving them access to rights other workers already have.
Six other states have already passed measures to ensure that domestic workers have these rights. With Illinois’ aging population becoming one of the fastest growing in the country, the demand for domestic workers will continue to grow as a job source for Illinois residents.
The bill has been approved by the Illinois House and is awaiting action in the Senate.