A new law was recently passed in Chicago which will require employers to provide employees with at least 10 day’s notice of their work schedules as well as provide compensation for unscheduled changes, among other things. On July 24th, 2019, the Fair Workweek Ordinance was voted to pass by the Chicago City Council and will go into effect  July 2020. Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, has said she will be signing the new law into effect shortly and claims that it will be the most expansive worker schedule policy in the country, as well as the first to cover healthcare employees. 

In order for your job to get coverage, there are several factors that come into play. For employers, there are several things that are taken into consideration. The new law will apply to any employer with at least 100 total employees, including at least 50 employees covered by the ordinance and primarily engaged in business in a covered industry. As for employees who are covered by the new law, anyone who is physically in the city of Chicago for the majority of their work time, anyone who performs the majority of their work in a covered industry for a covered employer as well as any salaried employees earning $50,000 per year or less or $26 per hour or less if they’re hourly. As for industries that are covered, they include building services, healthcare, hotels, manufacturing, restaurants, retail and warehouse services.

The main focus of the new law will be to require employers to give their workers a written work schedule at least 10 days before that schedule would begin. This will change to 14 days as of July 1, 2022, but there’s a lot more to the ordinance beyond that. Another big change the ordinance will bring involves last-minute schedule changes. If an employee is covered by the Fair Workweek Ordinance, they’re allowed to refuse to work any unscheduled hours that are added to the schedule if they don’t receive at least a 10-day notice about it (this will also increase to 14 days starting July 1, 2022). Other benefits of the new law include covered employers having to offer additional hours to covered existing employees before giving them to seasonal or temporary workers, covered employees having the right to decline scheduled hours if they begin less than 10 hours after the prior shift, and covered employers being required to post a notice of employee’s rights for the ordinance once it’s signed into law.

Once the ordinance goes into effect, covered employees will have the right to take action if their employers violate it and employers will be subject to fines that can range between $300 and $500.