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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:35pm
Fri Jul 1

Gig Economy Workers Should Have Unemployment Protections, Experts Say

Workers in the gig economy and other independent contractors should be eligible for temporary unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs, according to a new report.

The Center for American Progress, Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, and the National Employment Law Project have a package of proposals aimed at adapting the unemployment insurance (UI) system "for 21st century realities."

The proposed reforms include creating a "Jobseekers Allowance" for workers ineligible for traditional UI, including independent contractors and others in the "gig" or sharing economy, such as Uber and Lyft drivers. A Jobseekers Allowance would also cover individuals with limited work history, including young people transitioning from school to work and people re-entering the labor force after caring for a family member or recovering from an illness.

UI is a federal-state program that temporarily replaces wages for individuals who lost their job through no fault of their own and are actively looking for employment, among other eligibility requirements. Workers in most states can receive UI benefits, which are paid by businesses through payroll taxes, for a maximum of 26 weeks.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:31pm
Wed Jun 22

Chicago City Council Passes Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, Regulations On Sharing Services

From paid sick days to regulations on popular sharing services like Airbnb and Uber, Progress Illinois rounds up highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:43pm
Wed Feb 10

Chicago City Council Roundup: The Brouhaha Over Council Oversight & Plan To Slap Cab Riders With Another Surcharge

Progress Illinois provides highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting, which covered everything from city council oversight to the "tampon tax."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:03pm
Fri Oct 2, 2015

Chicagoans Speak Out On 2016 Budget With Progressive Aldermen At Town Hall Meeting

Chicagoans vented their frustrations over items in Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2016 budget proposal, including a record $588 million property tax hike, during a Thursday night town hall meeting hosted by the city council's Progressive Reform Caucus.

In addition to the proposed property tax increase, the three progressive caucus members at the meeting, Alds. Scott Waguespack (32nd), Nicholas Sposato (38th) and John Arena (45th), got an earful from residents about Emanuel's proposals to privatize the city's 3-1-1 non-emergency operations and increase fees on taxi cabs and ride-hailing services, like Uber and Lyft.

Emanuel wants to outsource 3-1-1 operations to save the cash-strapped city an estimated $1 million annually.

Debra Powell, a 3-1-1 operator of 10 years, said the privatization plan could cost 58 call center jobs and negatively impact the quality of service provided to Chicagoans.

"You don't know who you're going to be talking to when you call 3-1-1 and it's been outsourced," Powell said at the budget town hall meeting, held at the Copernicus Center on the Northwest Side. "I would rather speak with someone who lives in the city, born and raised, knows the neighborhoods. We have ... 58 operators there who live all across the city, ... so we pretty much can relate to all the residents calling in."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:04pm
Tue Nov 18, 2014

Veto Session Preview: Will The Legislature Take Up A Minimum Wage Hike?

Progress Illinois previews what's ahead for lawmakers in the veto session, which starts this week.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:54pm
Mon Aug 25, 2014

After Quinn Vetoes Illinois Ride-Sharing Legislation, Supporters & Opponents Sound Off

Both proponents and opponents of state legislation that would have regulated commercial ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft are speaking out following Gov. Pat Quinn's decision on Monday to veto the measure. Progress Illinois rounds up some of the reaction to Quinn's veto and takes a look at the debate leading up to his decision. 

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