As Chairman of the Committee on Workforce Development and Audit, I am pleased to announce that the proposed ordinance amending the municipal code to establish an Office of Labor Standards in Chicago passed committee October 23, 2018, and moves to what I hope is a successful City Council vote today, October 31. This new Office will be organized within the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) and comprised of five staff members who will be dedicated to enforcing the City’s labor laws such as the current Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinances.
The overwhelming hope is for this Office to become a sounding board for employer and employee inquiries as they relate to Chicago’s existing and future labor laws. A primary focus for the office will be to promote the understanding of the City’s existing labor laws through educational outreach and improve compliance by providing technical assistance to employers and employees in these areas. Our hope is that this Office will work in collaboration with both public and private entities to identify gaps in existing labors laws and improve enforcement of those laws to better protect Chicago workers.
Over the last several months, the City departments of BACP, Law and Budget, along with Arise Chicago and Raise the Floor Alliance, have worked together in what I feel was a truly collaborative fashion to develop the framework for a successful Office of Labor Standards for Chicago’s workforce. These efforts are something the individuals of these organizations can be proud of and something I look forward to seeing put into action in 2019.