In this issue
- City Council Updates
CITY COUNCIL ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
Committee: Human Relations
This resolution calls for hearings to help alleviate what the sponsors consider to be unfair employee scheduling and employment practices. It particularly highlights employees being “forced” to work part-time, employees’ inability to provide input or exercise control over their schedules and employer-initiated changes to schedules. It concludes that such practices harm productivity. This issue was originally discussed as part of Mayor Emanuel’s Taskforce on Working Families. IRMA was a member of that taskforce. CRMA members will recall that the taskforce ultimately decided not to move forward with a mandate.
Committee: Committees, Rules and Ethics
The proposal seeks to mandate the following:
• Provide employees with a “good faith estimate” in writing of the employee’s work schedule that would include minimum hours and would presumably include more information such as what days per week an employee would expect to work
• The employee can request to modify the estimated work schedule prior to commencement of employment, and the employer can accept/reject the request as long as the communication is in writing
• Provide employees with a 2-week schedule by either posting it in the workplace or posting electronically as long as all employees are given access to the schedule at the workplace or remotely. The employee can choose how they want their electronic schedule issued. Upon initial hire, employers must provide employees an initial schedule to cover until the new schedule is issued
• If the employee changes their schedule after the schedule has been posted, there will be no ramifications under this ordinance
• Employees have the right to decline additional, previously unscheduled hours once the schedule has been issued; if the employee accepts the additional hours the employer must further compensate the employee with an additional hour of pay for the shift, including cases where an employee is asked to extend their current shift
• If an employer subtracts hours from a shift after the schedule has been issued or cancels a shift altogether, with less than 24 hours advanced notice, then the employer must pay the equivalent of 4 hours or the number of hours in the employee’s scheduled shift, whichever is less*
• If an employer moves a shift after the schedule has been issued, then the employee must be compensated*
• Penalty pay is not required when changes to schedules are made as a result of threats to employers, employees, property, or when civil authorities have recommended that work not continue; when the location is closed or business is interrupted due to public utilities’ failure to supply electricity, water or gas; failure in the sewer system; acts of nature, war, civil unrest, strikes or other issues outside of the employer’s control that cause operations to discontinue or mutually agreed upon shift swaps among employees
• Before hiring new employees, the employer must offer existing hours to current employees that are qualified to do the work; an employer is prohibited from not offering the hours because it may cause the employee to become eligible for employer-provided benefits under the ACA
• Employees have 72 hours to accept/decline the hours before the employer can hire for the position; if the offer of additional work is for an expected duration of 2 weeks or less, then the employee will have 24 hours to accept/decline the offer; all offers must be in writing or posted wherever schedules are posted; acceptance must be in writing; such writings and acceptance must be kept for 3 years
• If an employee works during the 11 hours following the end of a shift, the employee must agree to such a schedule in writing and must be compensated one and a half times the employee’s regular rate for the hours that are scheduled less than 11 hours from the end of the last shift
• Employees have the right to request numerous adjustments to their schedules, whether it be changes in hours, job sharing arrangements, or even part-year employment. The employer cannot retaliate against the employee for exercising this right
• A notice of employee rights in the ordinance must be posted at the workplace and written notification must be given at time of hire along with the employer’s name, address and telephone number
• Private right of action is included and fines will be assessed
A covered employee does not include anyone who is paid on a salary basis and whose rate of pay per week is greater than the 40th percentile of weekly earnings of full-time non-hourly workers in the Midwest Census Region as determined by the USDOL. Regardless, it will include all employees making less than $50,000/year or less than $962 per week.
CRMA is opposed.
Citing the rising costs of prescription drugs and recent cases of drug manufacturers involved in what some consider to be price-fixing and/or price-gouging, this proposal seeks to establish a Chicago Prescription Drug Price Review Board convened by the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health. The Board would review trend anomalies in the list price of medications and highlight those trends in an annually published report. That report might also suggest the need for legislative action on certain issues as informed by the data. The Board will also issue public advisory opinions on its findings and establish a Pharmaceutical Price Watch Hotline for consumers to report increased prices.
The proposal would compel manufacturers that allow their products to be sold in Chicago to report all brand-name and generic drugs sold, and for brand-name drugs, the must report any WAC increase of 10% or more, or a 12-month price increase of $10,000 or more or a drug that has a 12-month WAC of $30,000 or more. For generic drugs, WAC increases need to be reported if they are 25% or more, have a 12-month increase of $300 or more, or for new drugs, have a 12-month WAC of $3000 or more. The city must be notified at least 90 days before a new drug is introduced to the market or before a price increase is instituted. Justification for the price increase must also be produced. Manufacturers found to be in violation of the ordinance shall have their names posted publicly by the department.
CRMA is developing its position.
ADOPTED ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
The city is amending its Rules of Order and Procedure to allow for the public to comment on any matter being considered at any full City Council meeting. Comments will occur at the beginning of the meeting immediately after the roll call and invocation. All persons requesting to speak must be physically present within the Council Chambers and must keep comments focused on a subject that appears on the agenda. Remarks will be limited to 3 minutes. The public comment period will last for 30 minutes. This comment period will be in addition to the public comments period already in place for committee meetings. Written comments can also be submitted to the full Council through the Sergeant-at-Arms.
EFFECTIVE DATE: The ordinance will be in effect for the July City Council meeting.
Sponsor: Budget Director
As the May 31st deadline for the end of the legislative session came and went without passing a budget, the city received word that unless it proactively passed its own ordinance, it would no longer be able to collect revenue from the 911 surcharge. The 7% tax on cell phones was scheduled to increase to 9% and the landline surcharge was scheduled to increase from $3.90 to $5.00 but the increases were tied up in the budget bill. The Mayor moved to pass an ordinance to preserve the surcharge before the deadline of July 1st, so that the city could continue to collect the revenue regardless of whether the legislature passes a budget. The legislature has since passed a budget that was vetoed by Governor Rauner and later overridden by both houses.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Increases will occur beginning on September 1st.
This ordinance will require businesses that offer massage services to obtain a regulated business license in addition to their limited business license. The license, approved by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, requires each applicant to submit information on the types of massages offered, proof that employees are at least 18 years old, employment history of each applicant for the 3 years preceding the application, the previous experience of each applicant in the massage business, evidence of any previous business licenses for massage establishments revoked in any other jurisdiction, history of criminal violations and any lease information (if applicable). Licenses will be denied to any person found to have violated certain sections of the Municipal Code, offenses involving sexual misconduct with children, trafficking of persons, other sexual offenses or any other felony not excused by the Commissioner.
As a condition of the license, licensees must keep the premises clean and sanitized, display prices in a written price list, require employees to wear nontransparent clothing of all sensitive areas, require clients to cover sensitive areas, launder sheets and towels after each use, refrain from touching any client in a sexual/genital area, keep physical facilities in good repair, keep a year’s worth of records of services rendered, have clear glass entrances to the establishment, separate entrances/exits from residences, post a sign identifying the name of the establishment, post an advisory notice for the benefit of customers, disinfect all massage tables, lavatories and floors, provide a toilet facility and provide closed cabinets for storage for towels and linens.
Massage therapists must be licensed by the state in order to work in the establishment, and licensees must keep a list of all employed massage therapists along with a copy of their license and state-issued photo ID. The license must be displayed in the establishment and any advertisements must also show the city license number. Licenses cannot be transferred.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 13, 2017
The next City Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.