Illinois Domestic Workers Coalition: Dangerous Working Conditions Show Need to Protect Domestic Workers

Chicago, IL –(ENEWSPF)–August 5, 2016.   Two recent news headlines have brought to light the dangers that domestic workers face in the workplace: the trafficking of a nanny in Woodbury, Minnesota and the shooting of a Black caregiver in Miami, Florida.

According to charges filed in a Minnesota court, the nanny was was forced to work 18-hour days, and was frequently assaulted and starved. Caregiver Charles Kinsey had to be hospitalized after being shot by police while taking care of a man with autism.

In response, the Illinois Domestic Workers Coalition released the following statement:

We are saddened and outraged to learn about the alleged trafficking of an immigrant domestic worker in Minnesota as well as the police shooting of a Black caretaker in Miami. As members of the Illinois Domestic Workers Coalition, we are aware of the injustices that care workers, nannies and housekeepers face on a day to day basis because they lack legal protections and recognition under the law. Black and immigrant workers are among the most vulnerable and more likely to face violence and exploitation with little or no recourse.

Domestic workers deserve to do their jobs without fear of being abused or worse. We stand by the belief that all labor is valuable and that domestic workers should feel protected enough to do their jobs. These recent cases of domestic workers being injured and assaulted on the job demonstrate that it is critical to pass legal protections for domestic workers. No worker should ever have to choose between staying safe, and supporting herself and her family.

Although the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights (HB1288) has brought us closer to ensuring that basic worker protections include Illinois’ more than 35,000 domestic workers, the bill is still awaiting Governor Rauner’s signature. We call on Governor Rauner’s leadership to help make Illinois among the first states in our nation to right this historic wrong.

Gaby Benitez, Illinois Campaign Coordinator, National Domestic Workers Alliance

About the Illinois Domestic Workers Coalition:

Since 2011, the Illinois Domestic Workers Coalition has been seeking to pass a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in Illinois. The Coalition is powered by Latino Union, AFIRE, and Arise Chicago, along with allies and community groups, such as the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, the Heartland Alliance, Women Employed, and SEIU/HCII. The Coalition is supported by the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States.

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