Hernandez Passes Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights through House

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Concerned about the working conditions of domestic workers throughout Illinois, state Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez, D-Cicero, recently passed legislation establishing a bill of rights for home service employees. “All too often I hear horror stories about domestic workers being horribly mistreated and financially exploited by their employers,” Hernandez said. “Domestic workers are an integral part of the homes they work in, caring for children, the elderly and disabled family members. They should be treated with a level of respect equal to their importance.”

Under Hernandez’s House Bill 1288, anyone who keeps or manages a home, or provides nanny, cleaning, laundry, care giving or chauffeur services would be considered a domestic worker and have enforceable employment rights. Employers would be required to enter into a contract with the worker establishing the job requirements, with pay and time off periods guaranteed. To account for the diversity of domestic employee labor force, the bill also provides that a sample contract in English, Spanish and Polish will be supplied by the Illinois Department of Labor. The bill now awaits action in the Senate. For questions or comments on Hernandez’s legislative proposals, please call her constituent services office at (708) 222-5240 or send an e-mail to rephernandezstaff@yahoo.com.

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