On Wednesday, April 18, I co-sponsored an ordinance along with Alderman Pawar requesting the creation of an Office of Labor Standards to ensure Chicago workers are adequately protected and their rights sufficiently advocated for.
Over the last five years, Chicago has been a leading city working towards providing basic worker protections and improving local workplaces. Chicago passed three primary worker protection ordinances, the Anti-Wage Theft, Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Days ordinance in 2013, 2015 and 2016 respectively.
While these ordinances are steps in the right direction to address concerns with current labor policies, we need to make sure that the City enforces them, which is why I joined my colleagues and Arise Chicago, a worker’s advocates group, to establish an Office of Labor Standards.
This new office would be housed within the Department of Business and Consumer Protection and charged with policing the implementation of these three ordinances to combat income inequality for workers in Chicago.
Please see the links below for more detailed information about the current worker protection ordinances and Arise Chicago.
Worker Protection Ordinances
Anti-Wage Theft Ordinance. The ordinance allows Chicago’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection office the ability to revoke or deny the renewal of business licenses of employers found guilty of wage theft.
In December 2014 City County passed a city minimum wage ordinance starting at $10/hour, above the state rate of $8.25/hour. The city wage incrementally increases to $13/hour in 2019. The current Chicago minimum wage is $11/hour and will increase to $12/hour on July 1, 2018.
Paid Sick Days Ordinance . Under the new law, workers can earn up to five paid sick days per year in order to care for their own or a family member’s health.