Protecting Employers Since 1985

Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance

After a two and one-half year span of time covering two (2) administrations and pitting business interests against those of labor, the City of Chicago on July 24, 2019 passed the Fair Workweek Ordinance. This legislation will require companies in the covered industries to give all of their covered workers ten (10) calendar days of Notice of Work Schedules beginning July 1, 2020 and fourteen (14) calendar days as of July 1, 2022.

Here are some of the highlights of the law:

  • Industries covered: Building services, Healthcare, Hotels, Manufacturing, Restaurants with at least thirty (30) locations and 250 Employees, Non-profit with more than 250 Employees, Retail and Warehousing.
  • Employers covered: Those with more than 100 employees global; or 250 employees for non-profits; and
  • Employees covered: Individuals with salaries of less than $50,000 a year or an hourly rate less than $26.00 an hour.
  • Advance notice of scheduled changes: At least ten (10) calendar days prior to implementation beginning July 1, 2020 and fourteen (14) calendar days beginning July 1, 2022.
  • Extra Pay: If a shift is changed after the deadline for advanced notice, the involved employee gets one (1) extra hour of pay in addition to their regular compensation. Also, Employee gets at least fifty (50%) of pay for scheduled hours if shift is canceled or reduced with less than twenty-four (24) hours’ notice.
  • Right to Rest: Employee can decline a shift with less than a ten (10) hour break from the last shift worked but, if they chose to work it, they get paid one and one-quarter times their regular rate.
  • Exceptions: Schedules may be changed by mutual agreement in writing OR changes that are forced by civil unrest or threats; OR utility outages; OR acts of nature; OR canceled banquet; OR hours lost because of discipline for just cause.
  • Offer of More Hours: A covered Employer must first make offer of more hours to qualified Employees who are covered by the Ordinance and if those Employees choose not to perform the work, then the work may be offered to temporary or seasonal workers.
  • Penalty for Non-Compliance: Not less than a Three Hundred Dollar ($300) nor more than Five Hundred Dollar ($500) fine for any offense.
  • Litigation: An Employee can sue his/her Employer only after documenting a Complaint with the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
  • Effective Date of the Law: July 1, 2020 except for safety net hospitals which must comply by January 1, 2021.

This Ordinance was passed unanimously on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 through the staunch efforts of Mayor Lori Lightfoot. She acknowledged that the Ordinance was a difficult one for both business and labor, and was the result of hard work between business and labor groups and the City Council. This Ordinance is the most expansive scheduling Ordinance in the Nation.

Questions? Contact attorney Walter Liszka in our Chicago office at (312) 629-9300 or by email at

COVID-19 Resources

Stay up-to-date about developments in the Midwest


Contact us at any of our four Midwest locations

Schedule your confidential consultation

Contact Wessels Sherman if you would like to speak with one of our experienced labor and workplace attorneys, contact any of our four office locations and schedule a consultation.