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Media Advisory: New Illinois Law “Sweeps Away Exploitation” for State’s 35,000+ Domestic Workers


Media Contact: Naomi Leilani Salcedo


C: 773-315-0997

New Illinois Law “Sweeps Away Exploitation” for State’s 35,000+ Domestic Workers

What: Press conference and “Sweep Away Exploitation” Rally of domestic workers and allies

When: 10:00-10:30am CST on January 12, 2017

Where: Grace Episcopal Church, 637 South Dearborn, 1st floor, Chicago, IL 60605

Who: Illinois Domestic Workers Coalition, including Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE), Latino Union, Arise Chicago, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, SEIU-HCII, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Heartland Alliance, Women Employed; domestic workers from Latino, Filipino, and Polish communities; families who employ domestic workers; faith and labor leaders; and legislators.

Visuals: Domestic workers and their children in colorful t-shirts; large posters and signs; brooms to symbolize “sweeping away” exploitation

(Chicago, IL) -- Amidst a national climate of fear and tension for many immigrant communities, a new law in Illinois promises to expand basic labor rights for a majority immigrant women workforce of nannies, housecleaners, and home care workers. Effective January 1, 2017, the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights grants tens of thousands of domestic workers, including those who are undocumented, a state minimum wage, freedom from sexual harassment, and a day of rest.

After a five year campaign, the new law makes Illinois the seventh state to offer protections to domestic workers, who have historically been carved out of nearly every major labor law in the country. While today federal law protects most domestic workers, many states have continued to base their own labor laws on 1930s-era racism and sexism. Illinois now joins states Massachusetts, California, New York, Oregon, Hawaii, and Connecticut.

Laws like these are also becoming increasingly more important, as hate incidents against immigrants, Muslims, and people of color continue to rise post-election.

To get the word out, AFIRE Chicago, Filipino domestic workers, community and their allies will kick-off a mass organizing campaign across Chicago and Cook County with a press conference one week before the Inauguration. AFIRE community member and Filipina domestic worker, Olola Ann, will speak during the press conference, to share her story, and hopes for the future. Organizing will be aimed at ensuring that both workers and employers know about these new rights, and that the law is enforced. Their rallying cry of “sweeping away exploitation” sends a strong public message: racism, sexual violence, and xenophobia will not be tolerated in Illinois.

The Illinois Domestic Workers’ Coalition is powered by local organizations, including AFIRE Chicago, Arise Chicago, Latino Union, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Women Employed, Heartland Alliance, and SEIU-HCII, as well as domestic workers, advocacy and community groups, and allies. The Coalition is supported by the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States. For more information, please visit:

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