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Despite COVID-19 concerns, the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance still set to go into effect July 1

Even with businesses disrupted by stay-at-home orders imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chicago’s Fair Workweek Ordinance (the Ordinance) has not been tolled and it is set to go into effect on July 1, 2020. Chuhak & Tecson, P.C. provided a summary of the Ordinance last fall. On May 12, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection published rules explaining the Ordinance.

Predictability pay

Under the Ordinance, “covered employees” must be given advance notice of their work schedules, have the right to decline unscheduled hours and may exercise their right to rest by declining work hours starting less than 10 hours after the previous day’s shift. In addition, employees will be eligible to receive additional predictability pay if their employer changes their work schedule within 10 days, unless the employee and the employer mutually agree to the change. Pertinent to the current circumstances, the Ordinance exempts employers from paying predictability pay when there is a work schedule change due to a pandemic. The new rules do not explain how the Ordinance’s obligation for employers to provide scheduling and make predictability pay are impacted by COVID-19.

Types of businesses required to comply

Not all Chicago businesses are obligated to comply with this Ordinance. The Chicago City Council limited the scheduling obligation to larger employers in seven covered industries: building services, healthcare, hotels, manufacturing, restaurants, retail and warehouse services. These businesses must employ at least 100 employees globally (250 employees and 30 locations for restaurants). Also, higher paid employees are not covered by the Ordinance. To benefit from the advance scheduling and predictability pay, employees must earn less than $26 per hour or less than $50,000 per year.

Of course, Chicago employers have much to consider as they respond to the economic and social challenges of the pandemic. Still, in this time before July 1, 2020, covered employers should continue to develop their plans for advance scheduling. If scheduling changes are necessary, employers are encouraged to work with their employees to obtain advance agreements for the changes so they can avoid predictability payment obligations.

This is an uncertain time. It is possible that the Ordinance or parts of the Ordinance will be modified or postponed. All covered employers should pay close attention to ensure their compliance with the law. If you have questions about your status or the law, please contact one of Chuhak & Tecson, P.C.’s Employment law attorneys.

Client alert authored by Jeralyn H. Baran (312 855 4613), Principal and Employment practice group leader.

This Chuhak & Tecson, P.C. communication is intended only to provide information regarding developments in the law and information of general interest. It is not intended to constitute advice regarding legal problems and should not be relied upon as such.