Chicago work schedule ordinance derided as government overreach
Chicago businesses need to fight a recently proposed ordinance regarding work schedules or face even more financial pain, attorney Eugene Keefe said recently.
Keefe, a partner with the Chicago law firm of Keefe, Campbell, Biery & Associates, wrote on his firm's website that the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance is another attempt by government to interfere with business, ostensibly to help employees but in fact doing them harm.
The ordinance would require employers to set work schedules two weeks in advance and compensate workers for schedule changes with less than 24 hours notice. It is modeled on similar measures in New York, San Francisco and Seattle.
“I hate when government tries to take over for private businesses, particularly in a State where our government bodies are so badly run,” Keefe wrote. “This proposed scheduling rule is just the latest in a series of local government mandates that add to the cost of doing business in Chicago. It follows close on increases to the Chicago minimum wage, which rose to $11 an hour this past Saturday, and new paid sick leave requirements.”
The ordinance would require employers to compensate any employee whose hours are cancelled or reduced with up to four hours of pay. Workers would also have the right to decline scheduled hours that fall within 11 hours after their last shift. Those who accept hours within that 11-hour period would earn time-and-a-half pay.
“If the ordinance is passed, employers in every affected industry will cut back on part-time hires, schedule fewer employees per shift, and offer less scheduling flexibility to employees,” Keefe wrote. “That's exactly what a market research firm finds happened in San Francisco, which implemented its ordinance in late 2014. Our vote for our readers with operations in Chicago – contact your alderman or Chicago Mayor Emanuel and convey how happy you are with such shenanigans.”
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