CHICAGO — The Chicago City Council has passed the paid leave ordinance with a 36-12 vote.
It will require employers to provide a total 10 days of paid time off for employees. It includes five sick days and five vacation days.
Some opponents said the ordinance could create significant financial strain on small businesses.
“With this ordinance, it is further demonstration that the City of Chicago is truly the greatest freaking city in thew world,” Mayor Brandon Johnson said.
If a worker leaves a company and has unused time off, medium and large businesses must pay out employees for that time. Small companies with 51 workers or less are exempt from that condition.
The new ordinance also allows employees to rollover some sick and vacation days.
Those in support of the new ordinance, including several unions, said paid leave is a commonsense policy.
“If COVID taught us anything, it’s that workers need days off,” 22nd Ward Ald. Michael Rodriguez said.
Opponents said the rule will create a significant financial strain on businesses, particularly smaller ones.
“We have to understand what we’re doing here,” 9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale said. “We have to protect workers, yes, but we also have to protect the businesses that hired workers.”
42nd Ward Ald. Brendan Reilly said heads of major restaurant groups told him they plan to invest outside of Illinois.
“Instead, they are going to be focusing their investment, their economic development, their job creation, in markets like Nashville, Phoenix and Miami.
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