Chicago’s Domestic Worker Rights ordinance went into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. Employees working inside the homes of Windy City residents must have a written agreement. Contracts must be in employees’ preferred languages. The ordinance applies to in-home caregivers, cleaners and nannies.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the law covers all domestic workers regardless of their U.S. citizenship status. Employees without permanent residency or legal authorization to work in Illinois must still receive a written agreement.
Information that agreements must include
The purpose of a contract is to provide domestic employees with information about their rights under Illinois state and U.S. labor laws. Agreements must contain the home addresses of employers. They must also include an employee’s work schedule.
An agreement may specify the wages an employer will pay. As noted on the Chicago.gov website, domestic employees must receive at least $15.00 per hour. Employees also have a right to a break for 20 minutes for each 7.5-hour period worked and may have an established schedule, which their contracts may outline.
Days off, paid time off and overtime pay
According to the Illinois Department of Labor, domestic workers have the right to take 24 hours off during every 7-day work period. Employees working for one employer for at least 80 hours within four months must earn paid sick leave. When ill, domestic workers may take days off to recover and employers must pay their wages for the sick leave they earned.
Employees performing at least 40 hours of work during a calendar week must receive overtime pay. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers must pay at least one and a half times the amount of a worker’s hourly wage for each hour of overtime. Failing to pay may require legal action against an employer to receive unpaid wages.