Monday Morning Minute
In This Issue
Chicago Goes the Way of "Fair Workweek Ordinance"..Employers Get Ready
Scalia In As Labor Secretary?
Status of Paid Sick Leave Ordinances in Texas
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                  July 29,2019
 
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CHICAGO COUNCIL PASSES FAIR WORKWEEK ORDINANCE EXPECTED TO BE SIGNED BY MAYOR SOON
 
The Chicago City Council passed the  Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance  on July 23, which imposes  sweeping administrative 
requirements on employers concerning notification of employees' workweek. This bill has the support of the Mayor, Lori Lightfoot and is expected to be signed into law soon.  

The major provisions of this law are as follows:  

1.  Industries that are covered included:  Building Services, Healthcare, Hotels, Manufacturing, Restaurants, Retail and Warehouse Services. 

2. Employees covered are the following: 
  •  W2 employees, including temporary workers (who have been on assignment to employer for 420 hours within an 18 month period); 
  • spends the majority amount of their time working for a covered employer while physically present in the City of Chicago; 
  • earns $50,000 or less per year (exempt) or less than or equal to $26.00/hour (non exempt) from that employer (and as will be adjusted annually by CPI).
3. Employers covered in the industries noted in #1 above are the following: 
  • globally employs 100 or more employees (non profit is 250 or more) and 50 of whom are covered employees as noted in #2 above; 
  • Healthcare industries generally include health care or long term care services required to be licensed; 
  • Restaurant includes any business licensed to serve food in the City of Chicago which also has, globally, at least 30 locations and at least 250 employees in the aggregate. The term Restaurant specifically excludes businesses limited to three or fewer locations in the City that are owned by one Employer and operating under a sole franchise.
4. Employers' general requirements under this ordinance:
  • New employees: Prior to or on commencement of employment, employer shall provide employee with a good faith estimate in writing of the projected days and hours of work for the first ninety days;
  • Existing employees: An employer must provide its employees with written notice of work hours by posting the Work Schedule no later than 10 days before the first day of any new schedule from July 1, 2020, to June 30,2022;
  • Beginning on July 1, 2022 an employer must post the Work Schedule no later than 14 days before the first day of any new Work Schedule;
  • An employee must receive additional compensation should an employer violate the scheduling notifications.  The additional compensation depends upon the timing and nature of the scheduling change;  
  • Employers may also receive a fine from the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection which has been tasked with enforcing this new ordinance. The fine is between $300 and $500 for each offense. The law also establishes a process by which an employee may initiate a civil action  starting with a written complaint to the department.
5. Schedule changes, generally under this ordinance: 
  • employees may refuse to work any unscheduled hours an employer adds to their work schedule if they did not receive at least 10 days' notice (14 days on July 1, 2022) before the first day of any new schedule; 
  • if an employee agrees to work a schedule issued without adequate notice under the ordinance, the employee is entitled to one hour of additional pay (referred to as "Predictability Pay") above and beyond their ordinary pay per shift in which hours were added, reduced, or changed without the required notice and if that shift begins less than 10 hours after the end of their prior shift, the employer must pay them at least 1.25 times the employee's regular rate of pay for that shift; 
  • employees are entitled to at least 50 percent of their regular pay for any scheduled hours the employee does not work because an employer reduces or cancels an employee's shift with less than 24 hours' notice, including if the employee is sent home early during a scheduled shift; 
  • employers may reduce a covered employees' hours for disciplinary reasons, provided they have just cause that must be documented in writing or in circumstances where the reason for the change is out of the employer's control;
  • employers and employees may mutually agree on schedule changes lacking adequate notice without violating the ordinance, so long as the agreement is in writing.
6. Other provisions: 
  • Before offering additional hours or shifts to temporary or seasonal workers, an employer must first offer hours to its existing employees who are otherwise qualified to perform the work. But an employer is not required to schedule existing employees to work additional hours that must be paid at a premium rate such as overtime;  

This is just a general overview of some of the major provisions.  The full text of this ordinance can be found HERE.  

 

Given that this is expected to be signed into law by Mayor Lightfoot very soon, employers should begin to familiarize themselves with this new ordinance.  

 

Contact any Spognardi Baiocchi Attorney for any questions or concerns. 

ACOSTA OUT AS LABOR SECRETARY: SCALIA IN?

Alexander Acosta recently resigned as labor secretary after intense criticism about his handling of the scandalous sex crimes case involving investor Jeffrey Epstein, who is now facing federal charges. Epstein faced charges of sexually abused dozens of underage women, but Mr. Acosta agreed to a plea deal for Mr. Epstein to serve only 13 months in jail with six day per week work release privileges. Epstein asserted that he secured the harshest sentence possible given the circumstances and various prosecutorial agencies asserting jurisdiction in the case. In resigning, Acosta stated that he did not want the case to distract Trump or his administration from their focus on the economy. 

His resignation became effective on July 19 and President Trump named Mr. Acosta's deputy Patrick Pizzella as the new Acting Secretary of Labor. Trump has announced plans to nominate lawyer Eugene Scalia, the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, to be his new labor secretary. Scalia currently practices law as a partner at Gibson, Dunn in D.C.   

Trump's nomination of Scalia has quickly generated criticism as overly pro-business and anti-worker. This week, Scalia was criticized by the #MeToo movement for a 1998 Harvard Law Review article in which he criticized the EEOC's "quid pro quo" theory of sexual harassment liability. Scalia argued all harassment based upon protected characteristics should be analyzed under the same legal theory. If confirmed, Scalia may have to recuse himself from a number of high profile cases in which his younger brother, John, a prominent management-side labor lawyer is involved.

Spognardi Baiocchi, LLP will keep you advised of developments. 
SAN ANTONIO AND DALLAS PAID SICK LEAVE: STATUS OF ORDINANCES 

On July 24, 2019, a Bexar County district court judge entered an order delaying the implementation of the   San Antonio paid sick leave  (PSL) ordinance from its current August 1, 2019 date to December 1, 2019. 

Similarly situated, Dallas is currently still a go for August 1st as no la wsuit has been filed and the ruling in San Antonio does not impact the implementation date of Dallas' ordinance.  H owever it is interesting to note that the public interest group that played a part in successfully challenging Austin's ordinance has written a letter to the City of Dallas threatening to sue to delay the implementation of Dallas's PSL.  

In the meantime, Dallas needs to get ready for its new ordinance on August 1st. The City of Dallas has published rules regarding its paid sick leave as well as frequently asked questions.  Rules can be found HERE. FAQ on this topic can be found HERE.

SPOGNARDI BAIOCCHI llp is a law firm dedicated to partnering with companies of all sizes to address the full spectrum of legal concerns for its business.  Our commitment is to find common sense solutions that fit each clients' unique situation to labor, employment, human resources and general business needs. 


 
With over 50 combined years of experience among its 2 founding partners in these areas, we can assist businesses in developing custom solutions to today's tough issues.  And as litigators, who combined have over thousands of trials  "under their belts" before state and federal courts as well as administrative agencies (such as the NLRB) you will find no better advocate and partner. 

 

For more information on the firm, please go to our website at www.psb-attorneys.com or Lisa at lab@psb-attorneys.com