Chicago Passes Predictive Scheduling Ordinance

Author: Robert S. Teachout, XpertHR Legal Editor

July 31, 2019

Chicago has passed an ordinance requiring employers to provide covered employees with advance notice of work schedules and additional pay for schedule changes that occur after the posting deadline. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a strong proponent of the law, has stated that she will sign it. Chicago joins other municipalities that have enacted ordinances surrounding employee scheduling, including New York City, Seattle, San Francisco and San Jose.

Under the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance, covered employers will have to give at least 10 days' advance notice of employees' schedules starting July 1, 2020, and 14 days' notice beginning July 1, 2022. If an employer changes a worker's schedule with at least 24-hours' advance notice, it will have to pay an hour of "predictability pay" at the employee's regular rate. If a scheduled shift is cancelled or reduced within 24 hours of the shift start, an employer must pay the employee half of what he or she would have earned.

The predictability pay requirements do not apply in certain emergency situations. Furthermore, predictability pay is not required when employees:

  • Voluntarily trades shifts;
  • Mutually agree in writing to accept additional shifts;
  • Request shift changes (including for vacation, personal leave or sick time); or
  • Are penalized hours as a result of disciplinary action.

The ordinance covers for-profit employers with more than 100 employees and nonprofit employers with more than 250 employees in the following industries:

  • Building services;
  • Health care;
  • Hotels;
  • Manufacturing;
  • Restaurants;
  • Retail; and
  • Warehouse services.

It also covers restaurants with at least 30 locations and 250 employees globally and franchises with four or more locations in Chicago.

The law's protections apply only to hourly workers earning less than $26 per hour and salaried workers earning less than $50,000 annually who perform the majority of their work within Chicago. Covered employees have the right to decline work hours that start less than 10 hours after the end of a shift. An employer also must offer existing part-time workers additional work hours before hiring new employees.

Violations of the ordinance subject an employer to a fine from $300 to $5,000 for each offense, enforced by Chicago's new Office of Labor Standards.