Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to convene a task force that will "address paid sick leave for workers, provide protections to shift workers and pregnant employees and expand access to paid leave for new parents," according to an announcement on the mayor's office's Facebook page.
Emanuel is expected to launch the "Working Families Working Group" in the next month, according to the posting.
"The working group will be modeled after Mayor Emanuel's Minimum Wage Working Group and include representatives from labor, the business community, advocates for working families, and aldermen, such as Ameya Pawar, Joe Moreno, Latasha Thomas, Chairman of the City Council Committee on Education and Child Development, and Tom Tunney, Chairman of the City Council Committee on Economic Development," the mayor's office said.
The announcement comes after Chicago voters overwhelmingly backed a non-binding ballot question in last month's election asking whether private employers in Chicago should 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."
Last March, Alds. Moreno (1st) and Toni Foulkes (15th) introduced an ordinance, backed by the Earned Sick Time Chicago Coalition, that looks to ensure all workers in the city currently without paid sick leave are able to take time off to care for their own illnesses, a sick family member or attend medical appointments. The measure has been pending in the council's workforce development and audit committee.
Forty-two percent of private sector workers in Chicago, or more than 460,000 individuals, have no access to paid sick leave, according to the Earned Sick Time Chicago Coalition.
On April 7, Emanuel will go head-to-head with mayoral challenger Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia in Chicago's runoff election.