In a major victory for workers’ rights, the Chicago City Council has approved an ordinance that will guarantee all workers in the city at least 10 days of paid leave annually. This is a significant expansion of the current paid leave policy, which only requires employers to provide five days of paid sick leave.
The new ordinance took effect on January 1, 2024. Workers will earn one hour of paid leave and paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked, with a maximum of 40 hours per year for each type of leave. Five of these days can be used for any reason, while the other five must be used for illness or caring for a family member.
The ordinance applies to all employees who work at least two hours in a two-week period within city limits. It does not apply to unionized employees, who are covered by their collective bargaining agreements.
The ordinance is the culmination of months of negotiations between aldermen, labor unions, and business groups. Supporters of the ordinance say it will help boost the rights of low-wage workers, who are often not offered vacation days, and that it will allow workers to live more full lives.
Business groups have opposed the ordinance, arguing that it will increase costs and make it difficult for businesses to compete. However, proponents of the ordinance say that the benefits of paid leave outweigh the costs. Studies have shown that paid leave increases worker productivity and retention, and it can also lead to improved health outcomes for workers and their families.
The ordinance is a major step forward for workers’ rights in Chicago. It will provide much-needed relief to workers who are struggling to make ends meet and who need time off to care for themselves and their families.
Here are some of the key provisions of the new ordinance:
- Workers will earn one hour of paid leave and paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked.
- Workers can accrue up to 16 hours, or two days, of paid leave and up to 80 hours, or 10 days, of paid sick leave per year.
- Workers can use five days of paid leave for any reason.
- Employers must allow workers to use paid sick leave no later than 30 days after they start working.
- Employers must allow workers to use paid leave no later than 90 days after they start working.
- Employers with 50 or fewer employees will not be required to pay out unused paid leave days.
- Medium-sized businesses, with 51 to 100 employees, will have a year to phase in the full payout amount.
- Large businesses with more than 100 employees must pay out up to seven unused days of paid leave.
The new ordinance is a significant victory for workers in Chicago. It will provide much-needed relief to workers who are struggling to make ends meet and who need time off to care for themselves and their families.