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City Council Approves Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance Guaranteeing Schedule Stability

8/7/2019, noon | Updated on 8/7/2019, noon
Chicago’s City Council and Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently approved the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance which ensures that hourly workers in ...
Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, (pictured) recently announced that City council has passed the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance which helps to guarantee predictable scheduling for people in several select industries. Photo Credit: Office of the Mayor of Chicago

City Council Approves Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance Guaranteeing Schedule Stability

BY KATHERINE NEWMAN

Chicago’s City Council and Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently approved the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance which ensures that hourly workers in Chicago are guaranteed fair working conditions and requires employers to release work schedules at least 10 days in advance. The goal of this ordinance is to create greater financial stability for working families in the city.

“The Fair Workweek Ordinance that we passed will touch thousands of Chicago’s working families by providing the certainty that is vital to not only their financial stability but also their capacity to live their lives as parents and caretakers,” said Mayor Lightfoot.

The Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance requires predictive scheduling from city employers and employees covered by this ordinance will now receive compensation for changes an employer makes to a work schedule or be able to decline a schedule change that is given with less than 10 days notice.

Employees covered by this ordinance will also get first dibs on additional shifts that are available and will not be required to work a shift that is less than 10 hours after the end of the previous day’s shift, according to information provided by the Chicago Mayor’s office.

Chicago’s Fair Workweek legislation includes protections for those working in building services, healthcare, hotels, manufacturing, restaurants, retail, and warehouse services. The ordinance will go into effect July 1, 2020, with an exclusion for safety-net hospitals that will be included on January 1, 2021, according to information provided by the Chicago Mayor’s Office.

“This is a process that started two and a half years ago and in the two and a half months of this administration, we have worked very hard to bring as many voices as possible to the table as we could [to] get this right. It’s not a perfect ordinance and we haven’t made everybody happy but I think that we have struck the right balance and really laid the foundation on which we can build from going forward. I’m very proud of the work from everybody who was at the table,” said Lightfoot.

The City of Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection will be tasked with implementing and enforcing the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance and will monitor the compliance of employers to make sure that fair, safe and equitable conditions are maintained for all covered workers. The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection will also investigate complaints of employers violating the ordinance once it has gone into effect.

It is also written into the ordinance that the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection will study the effectiveness and economic impact of the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance and report their findings back to the City Council.

“As a newly minted alderman, it’s an absolute honor to be the chief co-sponsor of the Fair Workweek ordinance,” said Michael Rodriguez, 22nd Ward Alderman and vice-chair of the Workforce Committee. “The effort will have a positive impact on thousands of city residents who will no longer be forced to choose between their job and family priorities. Mandating fair scheduling is an important step to honor and respect our working-class citizens.”