Chicago aldermen plan to introduce an earned paid sick days ordinance at Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.
Aldermen, including Toni Foulkes (16th) and Ameya Pawar (47th), are scheduled to join workers and paid sick leave advocates before tomorrow's council meeting to announce the proposal.
"A paid sick days ordinance would directly impact nearly half of all private sector workers in Chicago who currently lack access to such a benefit. An ordinance would mean that workers no longer need to literally choose between their health and their job," reads a news release from the Earned Sick Time Chicago Coalition, which is organizing the press conference. "A paid sick days ordinance would also mean that, in many workplaces, such as any related to food production or service, the public's health would be protected."
The proposed ordinance comes on the heels of the release a report by the Working Families Task Force, which recommended that employers in the city provide their workers with a minimum of five earned paid sick days per year.
The task force made the following recommendations, as detailed in its report:
* Allow workers to accrue and use up to 5 earned sick days over the course of 1 year.
* Workers would earn sick time at a rate of 1 hour earned for every 40 hours worked. This approach ensures that employees earn and accrue sick time at a proportional rate based on hours worked.
* Accrued sick leave could be used by new employees after an initial 6-month probationary period.
* Allow employees to roll over up to 2.5 unused sick days to the following year.
* Exempt employers that offer combined leave benefits such as Paid Time Off (PTO) from these requirements as long as employees could accrue and use up to 5 days of PTO within a calendar year.
* This framework would not require the pay out of unused sick days by the employer and it would also exempt sick leave benefits that are negotiated as part of a collective bargaining agreement.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel formed the task force after Chicago voters overwhelmingly approved a non-binding ballot question in February 2015, asking whether private employers in the city should be required to offer paid sick leave to their employees "in the event of a personal or family illness, an incident of domestic or sexual violence, or a school or building closure due to a public health emergency."
Business groups such as the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce oppose the task force's paid sick leave recommendations.
Five states and 22 cities already have some type of law mandating paid sick leave.