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Legal Update Article

New Chicago Ordinance Requires Written Contracts for Domestic Workers

All Chicago employers of domestic workers must provide those workers with a written contact beginning January 1, 2022, under a new ordinance enacted by the Chicago City Council.


The ordinance applies to all businesses and individuals in Chicago that employ “domestic workers.” A domestic worker is defined as a person whose primary duties include:

  • Housekeeping;
  • House cleaning;
  • Home management;
  • Nanny services, including childcare and child monitoring;
  • Caregiving, 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 the domestic work is performed.


Effective January 1, 2022, all employers of domestic workers must provide a written contract to the domestic worker that sets forth the domestic worker’s wages and “work schedule.” Work schedule is defined as an employee’s shifts, including specific start and end times for each shift during a calendar week.

The employer must provide the written contract to the domestic worker in the domestic worker’s primary language, upon that domestic worker’s request.

Penalties, Enforcement

Any employer of a domestic worker who does not provide the written contract can be subjected to a fine. The ordinance provides that any violations will be punishable by a fine of $500, with each violation constituting a separate offense. Violations are enforced by the Office of Labor Standards in Chicago.

If you have questions or need assistance regarding compliance with this ordinance, please reach out to the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

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