While the beginning of the year is a common time for new laws to take effect, the mid-year point is another moment to watch. This summer, Chicago businesses must make plans to comply with the following minimum wage and workweek scheduling regulations.
On July 1, 2020, the minimum wage in Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois will increase. The minimum wage in Illinois will be raised to $10 per hour and the minimum wage for tipped employees will be $6.00 per hour. Similarly, Cook County’s minimum wage will increase to $13.00 per hour and its minimum wage for tipped employees will increase to $5.30 per hour. Employers of tipped employees in Cook County should apply the Illinois tipped employee minimum wage to avoid running afoul of Illinois law. In addition, townships in Cook County that opted out of the Cook County Minimum Wage Ordinance will be subject only to the Illinois Minimum Wage Law. Chicago’s minimum wage increases to $14.00 per hour and $8.40 per hour for tipped employees.
Employers must provide employees with notice of the wage increase. Neither Illinois nor Cook County requires a specific form of notice. However, the Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance requires that a written notice of the new minimum wage be provided with first paychecks after July 1. The City of Chicago requires use of a particular form: English and Spanish versions of the notice are available through the City’s website.
In addition to minimum wage increases, the Chicago Fair Workweek Scheduling Ordinance goes into effect July 1, 2020. “Covered industries” under the law include: (1) building services, (2) health care, (3) hotels, (4) manufacturing, (5) restaurants, (6) retail, and (7) warehouse services. The law applies to employers in these industries with over 100 employees globally that employ a minimum of 50 “covered employees.” Employees who earn less than $26 per hour or $50,000 annually, who perform the majority of their work in Chicago, and who perform most of their work in a “covered industry” are considered “covered employees.”
The law requires employers to provide employees with a good-faith estimate of the employee’s work schedule at the time of hire and for the first 90 days of employment. The estimate should include average weekly hours, whether the employee can expect to work any on-call shifts, and the subset of days, times, or shifts the employee will be scheduled to work. Ongoing work schedules must be provided to employees with 10 days’ advance notice (this increases to 14 days’ notice in 2022). Generally, employers will be required to pay employees “predictability pay” for schedule changes that occur within the notice period and 1.25 times their regular rate of pay if they agree to work within 10 hours of a prior day’s shift. Employees can refuse to take a shift within 10 hours of a prior shift without retribution.
Employers must post notice of employees’ rights under the ordinance in a conspicuous place in the work facility.
Chicago recently published final guidance and FAQs regarding the ordinance and the impact of COVID-19 on the law that provide helpful guidance on implementation.