New Chicago Ordinance Requires Written Agreements for Domestic Workers
AuthorPaul E. Starkman
A new Chicago ordinance that took effect on Jan. 1 mandates that all employers of nannies, home care employees, and other domestic workers in Chicago must provide them with written contracts. These contracts must include the workplace address, wages, and work schedule, which is defined as an employee’s shift, including specific start and end times during a calendar week. The domestic worker contracts must be prepared in the domestic worker’s primary language, as requested by the worker.
The ordinance applies to all businesses and individuals in Chicago that employ “domestic workers.” A domestic worker is defined as a person whose primary job duties include; housekeeping; house cleaning; home management; nanny services (including childcare and child monitoring); caregiving (including personal care, or home health services for elderly persons or persons with illnesses, injuries, or disabilities who require assistance in caring for themselves); laundering; cooking; companion services; chauffeuring; and other household services to members of households or their guests in or about a private home or residence, or any other location where domestic work is performed.
“Families, estates, and trusts that employ caregivers for older and disabled adults should take note of the ordinance,” Clark Hill attorney Ray Koenig said.
Officials recommend that these domestic worker contracts should be reviewed and signed in person by the worker, the employer, and a witness. The contract should be printed or can be provided in a printable communication in physical or electronic format, such as in an email. The contract should be reviewed annually or whenever there is a change in job duties.
This ordinance is enforced by the City of Chicago Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Office of Labor Standards (OLS). Violations of the ordinance may result in a fine of $500, with each violation constituting a separate offense.
Information about the ordinance and sample contracts is available by visiting Chi.gov/Care or by contacting your Clark Hill attorney.
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