Illinois latest state to expand domestic workers’ rights

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois has become the latest state to grant legal protections to nannies, house keepers and in-home caregivers with a domestic workers “bill of rights.”

The Illinois rules were signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner earlier this month and follow similar laws in six states including New York, Hawaii and California. The Illinois rules extend sexual harassment protections as well as minimum-wage pay and a guaranteed one day off in a seven-day work week for domestic workers.

There are an estimated 2 million such workers nationwide. They are mostly women and a large contingent is immigrant.

Illinois marks the first Midwest state to get such laws, and advocates say since it received backing from Illinois’ Republican governor, it could be successful elsewhere, including southern states.

The Illinois law takes effect next year.