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Volume XII, Number 147

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Illinois Domestic Workers Now Guaranteed Certain Employment Rights

On August 12, 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights Act (House Bill 1288) (the “Act”) on behalf of domestic workers employed in private homes or residences into law. With the passage of the Act, Illinois joins several states, including New York, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Oregon, in extending employment-based protections to domestic workers.

Illinois, Crest, To be eligible under the Act, workers must be engaged in domestic work (e.g., housekeeping, house cleaning, home management, nanny services, caregiving to persons requiring assistance, laundering, cooking, and chauffeuring) in homes or private residences. Workers engaged in domestic work for other family members, child and day care home providers, workers that provide less than 8 hours of domestic work per private home, residence or other location, and workers who are sole proprietors or partnerships are not eligible.

As a result of the Act:

  • Domestic workers will be protected from employment-related discrimination and retaliation based on protected characteristics including age, sex, national origin, pregnancy, religion, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, race, color, disability or military service under the Illinois Human Rights Act;

  • Domestic workers will be paid a minimum wage per hour under the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (domestic workers employed for at least two hours within a two week period within Chicago’s city limits will paid the minimum wage set by the state or Chicago’s Minimum Wage Ordinance, whichever is higher); and

  • Domestic workers employed for more than 20 hours per week for one employer must be provided at least 24 hours of rest per week (to coincide, if possible, with the worker’s traditional day for religious worship) and a 20 minute rest period for every seven and a half hour shift under the One Day Rest in Seven Act.

The Act becomes effective January 1, 2017, and the Illinois Domestic Workers Coalition expects that approximately 35,000 domestic workers in Illinois will benefit from the Act’s passage.

© 2022 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume VI, Number 236
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About this Author

Steven J Pearlman, Labor Employment Law Firm, Proskauer Law firm
Partner

Steven Pearlman is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the firm's Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group, resident in the Chicago office. Steven’s practice focuses on defending complex employment litigation involving claims of discrimination and harassment, wage-and-hour laws and breaches of restrictive covenants (e.g., non-competition agreements). He has successfully tried cases to verdict before judges and juries in Illinois, Florida and California, and defended what is reported to be the largest Illinois-only class action in the history of the U.S....

312-962-3545
Sunghee W Sohn, Proskauer, collective bargainng lawyer, labor counseling attorney
Associate

Sunny Sohn is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the firm’s Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.

Sunny represents clients before federal and state courts as well administrative agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

She counsels employers in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, construction, transportation, hospitality, consulting...

312.962.3520
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