MIRA members in Chicago continue to educate Chicago aldermen on the Fair Work Week Ordinance. Labor and special interest groups have galvanized the new mayor around this cause. Many aldermen are willing to support an anti-business law to win the sympathies of the mayor and labor. The previous legislation has been revised and is slightly less draconian but still unacceptable.
MIRA met with Alderwoman Garza to share the concerns of our members. Stephanie Dremonas from Pete’s Fresh Market and Jim Bousis from Cermak Foods shared the impact this type of ordinance will have on their business and customers. Alderwoman Garza is the sponsor of the ordinance and chairs the Workforce Development Committee
- It creates exclusions for most industries but midsized retail. E.g., Restaurants with less than 30 locations and 250 employees are exempt.Franchisees with less than 3 locations are exempt. And non-profits with less than 250 employees are exempt. Labor is adamant that midsized retail should not get an exemption and has pushed the progressive aldermen to hold the line on the number of employees at 100 per employer to be covered by this ordinance. (Section 1-25-020)
- Schedule Changes: Creates the labor concept of “call in pay” in which the employee gets compensated when they are not needed on a scheduled day. “No less than one-half times the Covered Employee’s regular rate for any scheduled hours the Covered Employee does not work because the Employer, with less than 24 hours’ notice subtracts hours from a regular or on-call shift or cancels a regular or on-call shift , including while the Covered Employee is working on a shift.” (Section 1-25-050)
- Schedule Changes: “…a Covered Employee has the right to decline any previously unscheduled hours that the Employer adds to the Covered Employee’s schedule…” (Section 1-25-050)
- Changes the current at-will nature of the employee to a just cause burden for the Employer when removing a difficult employee from the schedule. (Section 1-25-050)
- Gives an exemption for hotels to call in employees for unforeseen events.This exemption will not apply to retail.
- Additional Work Hours: Your managers will now have to attempt maximizing the hours of any part-timers to 30 hours before offering hours to other employees, “the Employer may not distribute hours in a manner intended to avoid application of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act…” “If no such Covered Employee accepts the shifts described in the notice within the time defined in this section, hours may be offered to temporary or seasonal workers who have been continuously assigned for at least two weeks to the location where the shift described in the notice will be worked.” (Section 1-25-060)
- All documentation of schedule changes, offers of overtime, unscheduled work hours, and exclusions will need to be documented and saved for 3 years. “All responses to requests shall be made in writing by the Employer.” “The Employer shall retain each written offer no less than three years…” (Section 1-25-060)
- Right to Rest: Employees should be scheduled with 10 hours of rest between shifts, otherwise they shall be compensated one-and-a-half times the regular rate of pay if the employee does not consent in writing. “A Covered Employee who agrees to work hours described in this section, but not consented in writing, shall be compensated one-and-a-half times the Covered Employee’s regular rate for any hours worked less than 10 hours following the end of a previous shift.” (Section 1-25-070)
- Enforcement – Rules: The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) will have the authority to create more rules to enforce this ordinance once it passes.It’s a trojan horse to allow more stringent rules after it passes. (Section 1-25-120)
- Private Cause of Action: Even if BACP issues a letter saying they will not be seeking enforcement; an employee may seek civil action for damages. (Section 1-25-140)
This ordinance is written with the intent to hurt healthcare and retail. Our main points with the alderman have been the following:
- Every other industry is given an exemption. Give midsized retailers an opportunity to compete and grow in Chicago. Provide an exemption of 30 locations globally before this ordinance applies to midsized retail.
- Our members don’t have the capacity to handle the level of documentation needed by this ordinance.It will cost our members money to comply and hurt the customer service levels enjoyed by residents.
- The retail clerks union’s contract only requires the Employer to hold 3 months of documentation and gives employees only a 10-14 day deadline to file a complaint. This gives ununionized employers a disadvantage in the market. The aldermen should not be doing the business of the union.
3.2 B: “Work schedules shall be maintained in the store for a three (3) month periodof time and shall be made available to an authorized representative of the Union. Schedules must be accessible to employees. No employee who is called into work out of the posted schedule shall be required to take compensatory time off from the posted work schedule. Posted schedules may be changed when operating conditions or emergencies make changes necessary, provided that indiscriminate changes shall not be made and the employees affected shall be given reasonable notice.”
9.2 C: Time Limits on Grievances “Grievances involving improper scheduling must be filed within the workweek in which the violation occursin order that the Company can correct such violations without incurring a back pay liability.”
If you have any more questions, or comments regarding this ordinance, please don’t hesitate to call Juan Escarénoat (313) 758-1807.