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Mayor Brandon Johnson expressed his enthusiasm for the ordinance, saying "Today is a great day for the workers of Chicago, the businesses of Chicago, and the future of Chicago. This ordinance, accomplished through compromise and collaboration, is an important step on the path to revitalizing the economy of our great city. Working families are the lifeblood of our city and I am proud that our city has delivered for them once again."
Research shows that paid sick time and paid time off reduce costs related to absenteeism and turnover for businesses. Workers with paid time off can stay in their jobs longer, earning higher wages they can then spend in their local communities. A lack of paid leave policies increasingly and disproportionately contributes to economic insecurity among lower-paid workers and their families.
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Alderman Mike Rodriguez, chair of the Workforce Development Committee and sponsor of the Chicago Paid Time Off Ordinance said "Working class Chicagoans deserve a day off when they need it. The Chicago Paid Time Off Ordinance is a common-sense, compromise approach that supports working people, helps businesses by increasing worker productivity and worker retention, and boosts our economy. I am proud to have sponsored this historic piece of legislation."
The business organizations supporting this ordinance include Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Business Leadership Council, Chicago Urban League and Chatham Business Association as well as individual businesses such as Back of the Yards Coffeehouse, Chicago Fair Trade, Chicago Dance Supply, Mashallah, The Quarry Events Center, Imani Bakery and Windy City Whiskey & Barbecue. Negotiations resulted in several compromises within this proposal including changes to number of days required; an extended ramp up period for private right action; exemption for small businesses with less than 50 employees from paying out unused paid time off; among others.
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The passage of this ordinance comes on heels major legislative accomplishments since Mayor Johnson took office such as permanent outdoor dining program; two pro-business ordinances around outdoor dining & reduced permitting requirements; Bring Chicago Home Ordinance; One Fair Wage ordinance abolishing sub-minimum wage for tipped workers; Plow Sidewalks Pilot Program & Mental Health System Working Group developing plan to expand non-police responses to mental health crises & reopening shuttered mental health clinics respectively.
The passage of this ordinance is a major victory for both workers & businesses alike as it provides much needed relief during these difficult times while also providing economic security among lower-paid workers & their families by reducing costs related to absenteeism & turnover for businesses while allowing them to stay in their jobs longer earning higher wages which can be spent in local communities thus boosting economy overall.
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