Nov 9, 2023 - News

Chicago considers 10-day PTO policy

Illustration of an office water cooler with a beach ball inside

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Chicago workers could be guaranteed a minimum of 10 days off a year if the City Council passes one of the most expansive leave policies in the nation.

Why it matters: The law could attract workers to the city but scare away businesses concerned about operating costs.

Driving the news: The Chicago City Council is expected to vote on the measure Thursday after weeks of delays to reach a compromise.

How it works: If passed, all Chicago workers would be guaranteed at least five sick days and five "vacation" days each year, starting Dec. 31.

  • Businesses with more than 100 employees would have to pay exiting workers for unused leave. Smaller businesses would have more limited responsibilities.
  • Businesses that violate the law could also be sued by employees one year after the law goes into effect.

Context: The ordinance comes on the heels of other labor-friendly legislation advanced by Mayor Brandon Johnson, particularly One Fair Wage, which over five years will eliminate the difference between the regular and the tipped minimum wage.

What they're saying: "We worked collaboratively to find compromises, and we ended up with the most progressive paid time off policy in the country," Johnson said in a statement Wednesday.

The other side: A coalition of major Chicago business groups oppose it, saying it "cements Chicago as a hostile place to do business," at a time when employers are still recovering from the pandemic and some are bracing for new costs driven by One Fair Wage.

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