To: Illinois Senate

Support Basic Labor Protections for Domestic Workers in Illinois!

Support Basic Labor Protections for Domestic Workers in Illinois!

Thousands of domestic workers in Illinois care for our children and our homes, and provide support to seniors and people with disabilities so they can live with dignity at home. Despite their hard work, domestic workers are often asked to work long hours without pay and are subjected to wage theft, sexual harassment and trafficking. Support the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights to provide essential basic labor protections to domestic workers in Illinois.

Why is this important?

I met domestic worker Myrla Baldonado three years ago when I first began working with the National Domestic Workers Alliance. From the beginning, I was struck by how calm and caring she was to me, and to everyone she met. Those are the qualities that have made her such a skilled and sought-after domestic worker. Because of her skill, Myrla has cared for more than 30 families over the years.

There are thousands of domestic workers like Myrla in Illinois. Many of them are paid below the minimum wage. Many others experience harassment and discrimination at work, but they have no recourse.

Domestic workers in Illinois have no right to a day off or protection from discrimination and harassment at work. Domestic care workers like Myrla have no right to earn minimum wage or overtime pay.

At many of her jobs, Myrla was expected to work from 6:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night. That’s 16 hours without a break to rest or sleep. As a result, she often worked 90 hours a week. Some weeks, she has had to work 112 hours.

Despite her hard work and dedication, she was rarely paid for all the hours she worked. She would often take home just $4.94 an hour, well-below minimum wage and not nearly enough money to provide for her basic needs or the needs of her four children.

I know that we can do better for Myrla and the tens of thousands of other domestic workers in Illinois. That’s why I support the domestic workers organizing to pass a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in Illinois.

The Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights would guarantee one day off a week for domestic workers. It would guarantee domestic workers the right to be paid for all the hours they work and to earn minimum wage for those hours. And it would provide protections against harassment and discrimination at work for domestic workers.

In the past four years, domestic workers have won Bill of Rights legislation in four states: New York, California, Hawaii and Massachusetts. Now it’s Illinois’ turn to protect domestic workers!

Together, we can ensure that domestic workers like Myrla have access to basic workplace protections in Illinois.

Thank you for standing up Myrla and the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights!

Illinois, United States

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2015-05-08 10:28:38 -0700

500 signatures reached

2015-04-23 10:11:38 -0700

100 signatures reached

2015-04-23 09:30:10 -0700

50 signatures reached

2015-04-23 09:18:41 -0700

25 signatures reached

2015-04-23 09:15:18 -0700

10 signatures reached