Employers Beware: New Chicago Ordinance Establishes Notice Requirements for Workers’ Schedules

August 14, 2019

On Wednesday, July 24th the Chicago City Council unanimously approved the Fair Workweek Ordinance (“Ordinance”).  Commencing July 1, 2020 Chicago employers in the Building Services, Healthcare, Hotel, Manufacturing, Restaurant, Retail and Warehouse Services industries will be required to provide employees earning less than $26 per hour or employees with salaries at or below $50,000 a year at least 10 days’ advanced notice of workers’ schedules.  The notice requirement will be increased to 14 days starting July 1, 2022.

Additionally, after extensive debate, the Ordinance has been refined to apply only to large City employers.  Specifically, the Ordinance is limited to businesses with at least 100 employees, nonprofit organizations with over 250 employees, restaurants with at least 30 locations and 250 employees globally, and to franchises with at least four locations.  The Ordinance also specifically exempts City employees.

In the event an employer changes a worker’s schedule in violation of the Ordinance, it will be required to compensate the employee with an amount equal to one hour of the employee’s regular wage rate.  Additionally, if an employer cancels or reduces an employee’s hours within 24 hours of the start of a previously scheduled shift, the employer will have to pay the employee half of what they would have made had they worked the entire shift.  However, an employer and employee may choose to exempt themselves from the Ordinance if it is mutually agreed upon in writing.

The Ordinance also requires employers to offer existing part-time employees additional hours prior to hiring new employees.

Depending on the industry there may be additional requirements and/or possible exemptions, so for best practice procedures and more information on how the “Fair Workweek” Ordinance may affect you or your business, contact the attorneys at Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC.