Domestic workers play a critical role in the Illinois economy, working to ensure the health and prosperity of Illinois families and freeing others to participate in the workforce. Despite the value of their work, domestic workers have historically been excluded from the protections under state law extended to workers in other industries. This has led to a workforce, predominantly composed of women supporting their own families, that is isolated and vulnerable.
We work to win labor protections for domestic workers by winning domestic worker "Bills of Rights" at the state level, pushing for regulatory changes at the national level, and through the International Labor Organization at the global level.
Historically, domestic workers have been left out of the labor protections given to other workers. We are working to right this historic wrong.
Click on the highlighted states on the map to learn about the Domestic Worker Bills of Rights that we are moving, or have passed, in different states.
In July of 2015, the state of Connecticut took a giant first step forward for domestic workers in their state when Governor Malloy signed the Connecitcut Domestic Worker Bill.
Domestic workers play a critical role in Connecticut’s economy, working to ensure the health and prosperity of Connecticut families and freeing others to participate in the workforce. Despite the value of their work caring for children, elders and our homes, domestic workers have historically been excluded from the protections under state law extended to workers in other industries. This has led to a workforce, predominantly composed of women supporting their own families, that is isolated and vulnerable.
The Oregon Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights corrects an historic wrong by including domestic workers in the basic labor laws afforded most other workers. Domestic workers were intentionally excluded from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as a concession to Southern politicians in the early 1900’s. This exclusion was mirrored on the state level, creating an unregulated and underground economy that left the state’s approximate 10,000 domestic workers subject to widespread mistreatment and abuse.
July 2014 -- Victory! Governor Deval Patrick signed the Massachusetts Domestic Workers Bill of Rights into law, the fourth state in as many years. The Massachusetts Bill is the most forward-thinking bill of rights to date and sets the stage for even more comprehensive legislation in other states. The bill will protect workers and employers by requiring clear guidelines for employers and workers including: a written contract; 30 days notice of termination for live-in workers; and maternity leave for workers, among other protections. Congratulations, Massachusetts!
Victory! The California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights ends generations of exclusion from basic labor protections. The California Bill of Rights (AB 241) was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on September 26, 2013, and goes into effect January 1, 2014.
In 2013, Hawaii became the second state in the nation to enact a Domestic Worker Bill of Rights.
In Hawaii as of July, 1, 2013
Labor of Love: New York Domestic Worker Convention
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Inspiring Victory for Domestic Workers! We Made History! New York becomes first state to recognize domestic workers
Every day across our nation, almost two million home care workers support the independence of people with disabilities and seniors.
Yet in many states, home care workers are paid less than minimum wage and denied overtime pay.