BY ESTHER J. CEPEDA
CHICAGO -- Workers’ rights are on a bit of a roll these days. Not only are $15 minimum-wage increases starting to take hold in top cities across the country, but bills mandating paid sick time are making their way through state legislatures. And top brands such as Starbucks and J. Crew are eliminating erratic “on-call” work schedules for employees.
Last week, the state of Illinois threw its own hat into the worker-protection ring by passing the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which, if the governor signs it, will amend several existing laws that previously excluded domestic workers.
Far from being an extravagance of the rich, domestic workers are everywhere—in homes taking care of children, the elderly or the infirm, or cleaning and performing other work in homes. And because lower-income people increasingly hire them, their own wages can be pitifully small.