Chicago Fair Workweek OrdinanceAugust 09, 2019
Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the City Council approved an ordinance that require employees to provide hourly workers in Chicago scheduling stability.
At a Glance
- The Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance will go into effect July 1, 2020, except for safety-net hospitals that will be covered beginning January 1, 2021.
- The ordinance covers scheduling requirements such as; initial estimate of hours at new hire, predictability pay, right to decline schedules, posting requirements of 10 days in advance of the first day of the new work schedule, choice of additional hours, and right to rest.
- There are specific employee eligibility requirements.
- A covered employer must have more than 100 employees globally, 50 of whom are covered employees under the ordinance, with the threshold for non-profits and restaurants raised to 250.
Please review the information below to learn more about the employer requirements, employee eligibility, and a link to the bill text with further details.
On July 24, Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the City Council approved an ordinance that require employees to provide hourly workers in Chicago scheduling stability. The Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance will go into effect July 1, 2020, except for safety-net hospitals that will be covered beginning January 1, 2021.
Under the ordinance, employers must ensure scheduling predictability but can also offer additional hours to employees on a volunteer basis. For employers prone to unforeseen events, there are reasonable accommodations included to account for last-minute scheduling changes.
Covered Employees and Employers
The legislation covers employees within the following industries, building services; healthcare; hotels; manufacturing; restaurants; retail; and warehouse services. To be a covered employee the following must apply;
- Perform work for an employer who has been on assignment to the employer for 420 hours within an 18-month period;
- Spend the majority of their time at work for that employer while physically present within the City of Chicago;
- Perform the majority of their work in a covered industry for that employer; and
- Earn less than or equal to $50,000 per year as a salaried employee, or less than or equal to $26.00 per hour as an hourly employee, from that employer.
- Contractors are not covered under this ordinance; temporary employees are covered.
To be a covered employer, they must have more than 100 employees globally, 50 of whom are covered employees under the ordinance, with the threshold for non-profits and restaurants raised to 250. Additionally, restaurants must have at least 30 locations globally, meaning that most small restaurants are exempt.
The Ordinance’s requirements may be waived in a bona fide collective bargaining agreement, but only if the waiver is set forth explicitly in such agreement in clear and unambiguous terms.
The ordinance requires employers to post employee schedules at least 10 days in advance beginning July 1, 2020, increasing to 14 days on July 1, 2022. The written schedule must include the shifts and on-call status of all current covered employees at that location. Employers also must restrict scheduling practices that prevent workers from attending to their families, health, education, and other obligations.
- Predictability of pay: Employees are entitled to one hour of compensation for changes an employer makes to a work schedule after the deadline.
- The right to decline when schedules change: Employees may decline additional hours not previously scheduled.
- Choice of additional work hours when available: First offer of additional shifts of work will be reserved for qualified existing employees.
- The right to rest and request a flexible working arrangement: Employees are not required to work hours scheduled for less than 10 hours after the end of the previous day’s shift and will be paid a higher differential for those shifts.
Healthcare industry. The Chicago’s Fair Workweek legislation provides protections for hourly workers in the healthcare industry. To account for the differences between healthcare and other industries, the ordinance provides flexibility to healthcare providers in emergency circumstances to make sure access to care will not be interrupted.
Enforcement and Record Retention
The Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance will be administered and enforced by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP). Any employer who violates the requirements under this ordinance will be subject to a fine of not less than $300.00 nor more than $500.00 for each offense.
An employer is required to maintain for at least three years a record of each covered employee’s name, hours worked, pay rate, and records necessary to demonstrate compliance, including but not limited to good faith estimates of work schedules, initial posted schedule and all subsequent changes to that schedule, consent to work hours where such consent is required, and documentation of offers of hours of work to existing staff and responses to such offers.
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This information is provided as a courtesy, may change and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney or Advisor.
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