November 8, 2023

Mayor Brandon Johnson Announces Additional Business Support for Paid Leave Ordinance

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO — Today, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced additional business support for the Chicago Paid Leave Ordinance, including support from the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. After extensive negotiations between the Johnson Administration, workers' rights advocates and the business community, a compromise has been reached to provide 10 days of paid time off for all Chicago workers, including five days of sick time and five days of time off.  

“I am proud that Chicago is once again leading the nation in the struggle for workers' rights, and strengthening the economic vitality of our city," said Mayor Brandon Johnson. "My administration pledged to bring everyone to the table to hear concerns from large employers, small businesses, and workers' rights advocates. We worked collaboratively to find compromises, and we ended up with the most progressive paid time off policy in the country that will help businesses retain workers and help workers live full lives with dignity."
The business organizations supporting the Paid Leave ordinance include the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Business Leadership Council, the Chicago Urban League and the Chatham Business Association. Individual businesses supporting the ordinance include the Back of the Yards Coffeehouse, Mashallah, The Quarry Events Center, Imani Bakery and Windy City Whiskey & Barbecue. The Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Chamber said, “The Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) acknowledges the efforts made to provide relief for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, and while we still have some concerns, we support the paid leave ordinance.”  

Research has shown that access to paid time off is crucial for employee retention, saving businesses costs related to employee turnover and training. Workers with paid time off can stay in their jobs longer, earning higher wages that 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.

Negotiations resulted in a number of compromises within the proposal, including changes to the number of days required, an extended ramp up of the private right of action and an exemption for small businesses with less than 50 employees from paying out unused paid time off.