The City of Chicago has revised its paid sick leave and minimum wage rules, amended its paid sick leave ordinance, passed a COVID-19 anti-retaliation ordinance and issued final rules on the Fair Workweek Ordinance; each of which have sweeping effects for City of Chicago employers.
Chicago's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (“BACP”) has published revised minimum wage and paid sick leave rules effective July 1, 2020.
Notable changes include:
The Chicago City Council approved Substitute Ordinance 2020-2343, an anti-retaliation ordinance. The Ordinance prevents employers from terminating, demoting or taking any other adverse action against an employee in Chicago for obeying an order issued by Mayor Lightfoot, Governor Pritzker or the Chicago Department of Public Health (or, in the case of subsections (2) through (4) below, a treating healthcare provider) requiring the employee to:
An employer is prohibited from taking adverse action against an employee for caring for an individual subject to subsections (1) through (3) above. The Ordinance provides for reinstatement, actual damages, treble damages, and attorneys’ fees and costs for successful retaliation claims in civil suits brought by the BACP commissioner.
In Substitute Ordinance 2020-2343, the City Council also amended Chicago’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (the “PSLO”), that will take effect July 1, 2020. The City Council claims the amendments, which were enacted a little more than one week after the BACP finalized its paid sick leave rules, were needed to correct a “scrivener’s error that erroneously removed groups previously subject to the paid sick leave” provisions. As a result, the Ordinance clarifies that the following employees are covered under the PSLO:
Since the PSLO requires notice to individual employee, employers of employees that are now considered covered employees effective July 1 must provide those individuals with the paid sick leave notice along with their first paycheck subject to the PSLO.
Note that, effective July 1, the PSLO will apply to all employers with at least one covered employee, regardless of whether the employer has a Chicago worksite or is subject to business license requirements.
As we previously reported, effective July 1, 2020, Chicago’s Fair Workweek Ordinance will require employers in specific industries, including building services, healthcare, hotels, manufacturing, restaurants, retail and warehouse services (“Covered Industries”) to provide certain categories of employees with advance notice of work schedule (10 days beginning July 1, 2020), as well as provide these employees with the right to decline previously unscheduled hours, 1 hour of predictability pay for any shift change within 10 days, and the right to rest by declining work hours with less than 10 hours after the end of the previous day’s shift. For more information, please see our previous discussion.
On May 12, the BACP issued its final rules for the Fair Workweek Ordinance, which will also go into effect on July 1, 2020, to clarify certain requirements under the Ordinance. Among other things, the final rule:
Under the Fair Workweek Ordinance, there is an exception to the obligation to pay predictability pay if the work schedule change is caused by certain circumstances including a “pandemic.” The BACP also issued a supplemental COVID-related rule to the Fair Workweek Ordinance explaining how COVID-19 qualifies under this pandemic exception.
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