City Council adopts Fair Workweek ordinance


Daily file illustration by Ziye Wang

City officials say delaying the effective date for the Fair Workweek Ordinance will give more time for employers to adjust to the new policy.

Cole Reynolds, Assistant City Editor

City Council adopted an ordinance Monday that will require employers to give workers a two-week notice of schedule changes and compensate them if any changes occur after.

The ordinance, called Evanston’s Fair Workweek Ordinance, covers restaurants and food service businesses with at least 200 employees and 30 locations globally. It also applies to all other types of businesses with 15 or more employees, excluding health care, child care industries and nursing homes.

Council passed the ordinance — which was recommended by Mayor Daniel Biss and Ald. Devon Reid (8th) — by a margin of 6-2 Monday. Ald. Clare Kelly (1st) and Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) voted against it.

The ordinance also requires employers to put a minimum of 11 hours between shifts and to compensate workers if they work during those 11 hours. Additionally, it requires employers to offer shifts to part-time workers before establishing new part-time positions.

“Workers deserve healthy, predictable schedules, the opportunity to work, and the flexibility to care for their families,” policy coordinator Alison Leipsiger wrote in a memo to City Council. “Unpredictable schedules leave workers scrambling for childcare or eldercare and otherwise create chaos in their lives.”

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