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Fair Workweek Ordinance Passes in Chicago: What You Need to Know

Thursday, July 25, 2019  
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Yesterday, the Chicago City Council passed a Fair Workweek ordinance that will regulate employers' scheduling practices. Click here to read the ordinance.

Over the past several weeks, the IRA has been in constant communication with Mayor Lightfoot and her team, aldermen, and stakeholders from all sides in order to maintain and secure restaurant-friendly concessions in the final ordinance. We commend Mayor Lightfoot and her administration for their commitment to ensuring all sides were heard in the crafting of this legislation.

Below is a breakdown of the ordinance:

  • Restaurants with less than 250 employees and less than 30 global locations are exempt from this ordinance
  • Unless your restaurant has 30 or more locations globally, your restaurant is exempt from this ordinance
  • Franchisees with 3 or fewer locations owned by one employer are also exempted
  • Employers in 6 covered industries (Building Services, Healthcare, Hotels, Manufacturing, Retail, and Warehouse Services) with more than 100 employees are required to comply with this ordinance
  • The ordinance goes into effect July 1, 2020
  • Starting July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2022, covered employers must provide employee schedules with 10 days' notice
  • Starting July 1, 2022, covered employers must provide employee schedules with 14 days' notice
  • Prior to or at the commencement of employment, covered employers must provide employees with a good faith estimate of their anticipated work schedule
  • Employees have the right to decline any changes to their schedule that occur with less than 10 days' notice (starting July 1, 2022, the notice requirement is 14 days)
  • Predictability Pay
  • Covered employers must pay an employee one hour at their regular rate of pay when the employer makes the below changes to an employee's schedule with less than 10 days' notice:
  • Adds hours of work
  • Changes the date or time of a shift with no loss of hours
  • With more than 24 hours' notice, subtracts or cancels hours from a previously scheduled shift
  • Covered employers must pay an employee no less than 50% of the employee's regular rate of pay for hours not worked when:
  • With less than 24 hours' notice, an employer subtracts or cancels hours from a previously scheduled shift, including while an employee is working a shift
  • Notable exemptions to predictability pay:
  • Work schedule changes that are mutually agreed upon in writing between employer and employee
  • An employer subtracting an employee's work hours for disciplinary reasons
  • Work schedule changes due to acts of nature (flood, blizzard, etc.)
  • Offer of Hours to Existing Employees
  • When additional work shifts become available, covered employers must offer additional shifts of work to current employees qualified to do the additional work (as determined by the employer)
  • Whenever practicable, employers must offer additional work shifts to current part time employees.
  • Right to Rest (Clopening)
  • Employees have the right to decline shifts that occur less than 10 hours after the end of the previous day's shift
  • Employers must pay employees 1.25 times the employee's regular rate of pay for the entire shift if they agree to work with less than 10 hours' rest.

For more than two years, the IRA has worked alongside our association partners in the Work Your Way coalition and the National Restaurant Association to protect the interests of the restaurant and hospitality industry on this issue. Thank you to all IRA members that have been engaged and have helped to educate members of the City Council about the impacts of this ordinance.

The IRA will continue to engage with the City of Chicago as rules and regulations surrounding this ordinance and its implementation and enforcement are developed.

Read more from Crain's Chicago, NBC Chicago, and WTTW.

Please contact Matt Quinn with any questions.  


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