Tag Archives: City of Chicago

House Republicans Try to Remedy Patchwork of Paid Sick Leave

Contributed by Beverly Alfon, November 10, 2017

Eight states, the District of Columbia, and more than 30 municipalities have enacted laws mandating differing paid leave requirements. Localities such as New York and San Francisco, have enacted some of the most aggressive sick leave requirements in the country. Employers doing business within the City of Chicago have also been left to deal with a trifecta of sick leave laws in 2017:  the IL Employee Sick Leave Act, the Cook County Paid Sick Leave ordinance, and the City of Chicago paid sick leave ordinance. All of this has resulted in an administrative nightmare for employers dealing with more than one set of sick leave requirements.

sick leave 2

On November 2, 2017, three Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, Reps. Mimi Walters (R-CA), Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), introduced a bill, The Workflex in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4219). Supporters of the bill tout that the legislation gives employees job flexibility, while also giving employers more certainty and predictability over their leave practices. The bill provides for a voluntary program that is comprised of a combination of guaranteed paid leave and increased workplace flexibility options to employees. The amount of paid leave required (ranging from 12 days up to 20 days) would depend on an employee’s tenure and the employer’s size.  At least one type of workflex option would also be made available to employees, which may include a compressed work schedule, biweekly work program, telecommuting program, job-sharing program, flexible scheduling or a predictable schedule.  The incentive for an employer is that participation in the program would shield it from the mish-mosh of paid leave obligations stemming from state and local laws currently in effect.

The bill would not require employees to use the workflex option in order to take advantage of the paid days off. Also, to be eligible for a workflex arrangement, an employee would have to be employed for at least 12 months by the employer and would have to have worked at least 1,000 hours during the previous 12 months. More details regarding the bill can be found here.

Bottom line: Where this bill will end up obviously remains to be seen, but it has strong support from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, National Association of Women Business Owners and other employer groups. Until there is a solution to the administrative hopscotch required of employers whose employees work in different cities, counties and states, employers must do their best to stay on top of the applicable paid sick leave requirements and related rules and regulations, and adjust their policies and procedures accordingly.

City of Chicago Is Teeing Up For Mandated Paid Sick Leave

Contributed by Heather Bailey, June 21, 2016

Paid time offOn June 17, 2016, the City of Chicago took one step closer into joining the ranks of requiring employers to give paid sick leave to their employees when the City Council’s Committee on Workforce Development and Audit unanimously voted on the Ordinance to do just that. If passed, Chicago will join 26 other cities (such as New York City, NY, Newark, NJ, and Philadelphia, PA), along with Washington, DC and five states (California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon and Vermont), who have also passed similar mandated paid sick leave for workers.

The Ordinance as currently proposed will be applicable to an employer of any size – this means all companies with employees in Chicago will be required to comply. Any employee who works at least 80 hours in a four month time span will qualify. Thus, this new Ordinance applies to part-time employees as well. Employees will accrue 1 hour of sick leave for every 40 hours they work – with a cap of 5 days paid leave per 12 month period.

The proposed Ordinance offers the following struggles for business owners:

  • Up to 20 hours (half of the allotted time can be carried over to the next year, with 40 hours of carry over to be used towards FMLA leave).
  • Employers could not require that employees must find their replacement to cover their shift while they use the paid sick leave.
  • Employees could use the time off for more than just being sick (i.e., closure of a school or business due to a public health emergency, domestic violence).
  • Companies without Human Resources Departments will have a harder time administering the leave and curbing use-abuse by employees.

Some of the Pros for business owners:

  • Any earned but unused sick leave would not need to be paid to employees leaving the company for any reason.
  • Employers could require a seven day notice for any foreseen absences such as a pre-planned doctor’s appointment.
  • Temporary and seasonal workers will be excluded since they won’t be able to meet the 6-month waiting period to use the time once it starts accruing.
  • Employers would get one year to implement due to the effective date of July 1, 2017, if passed.
  • Current collective bargaining agreements do not need to be modified to include paid sick leave or amend existing provisions, as well as, negotiations for future contracts could waive the paid sick leave requirement.
  • If an employee is absent 3 consecutive days, the employer could require a doctor’s note or other legitimate proof for the time off.

Stay tuned as the full City Council votes on the mandatory paid sick leave Ordinance tomorrow, Wednesday, June 22nd.