Workers, Advocates Announce Introduction of Paid Sick Days Ordinance

Workers, Advocates Announce Introduction of Paid Sick Days Ordinance

Coalition and legislators call for swift action by City Council

Media Advisory for Wednesday April 13th, 2016


Adam Kader, Worker Center Director, Arise Chicago

773-937-1826 | [email protected]


What: The Earned Sick Time Chicago Coalition and aldermen announce introduction of a paid sick days ordinance covering all workers in the city.

Who: Working Families Task Force Co-Chairs Ald. Ameya Pawar and Anne Ladky, Women Employed; chief ordinance sponsor, Ald. Toni Foulkes; Earned Sick Time Chicago Coalition organization members; low-wage and union workers; small business owners

When: Wednesday, April 13th at 9am

Where: City Hall 2nd floor

Why: The City’s Working Families Task Force recently released its report with recommendations for paid sick days legislation. The Coalition calls on Chicago legislators to move toward swift passage after an ordinance is introduced at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.



The Earned Sick Time Chicago coalition formed in 2013 in order to win the basic benefit of paid sick time for all workers. In the city’s 2015 election, 82% of Chicagoans supported the idea of mandatory paid sick days.


The Coalition readily welcomed the release of the long-anticipated report by the City of Chicago’s Working Families Task Force report, and its recommendation for guaranteed paid sick day legislation for Chicago’s workforce.


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. 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.


A Chicago ordinance would allow the city to catch up with the 5 states and 22 cities with such a policy, including New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, and Pittsburgh.


Below is from the Working Families Task Force Executive Summary:

Paid Sick Leave

The Task Force recommended a framework that would provide workers with paid sick leave while having a nominal impact on employer costs. This proposal would:

  • 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.


The Earned Sick Time Chicago Coalition includes:

Arise Chicago, Restaurant Opportunities Center – Chicago, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881, Women Employed

Action Now, Between Friends, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, Chicago Foundation for Women, Chicago National Organization for Women, EverThrive Illinois, Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, Jobs with Justice, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, National Council of Jewish Women –  IL State Policy Advocacy Network, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Employment Lawyers Association – IL, ONE Northside, ParentsWork, Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Rape Victim Advocates, OUR Walmart, Women Employed, YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, AFSCME Council 31, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308, Chicago Teachers Union, Illinois Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 21, Illinois Education Association Region 67, Illinois Federation of Teachers, National Nurses United, Pride at Work Chicago, SEIU Doctors Council, SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, SEIU Local 73, Teamsters 743, Teamsters 777, United Auto Workers Region 4, United Auto Workers Local 2320, United Steelworkers District 7,UFCW Local 1546, Unite-Here Local 1, Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago/Fight for $15, Workers United



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