121 CRMA Report – June 2018


SUBSTITUTE PROPOSAL FORTHCOMING

Members will recall that a proposal was introduced in Chicago’s City Council in June of 2017 that would accomplish the following: regulate how employers create and issue employee schedules, create a system for paying employees that are either sent home early or have their shifts cancelled, mandate that current employees be offered shifts before a new employee is hired and bar employees from closing the store and then opening the next morning.
That proposal has sat dormant since its introduction in the Council’s Rules Committee.
It is our understanding, after having a number of conversations in the past few weeks, that at tomorrow’s Council meeting, a substitute proposal will be introduced to limit the scope of the original proposal. Right now, the proposal applies to all employees making less than $50,000/year. The substitute would possibly limit the proposal’s application to employers that have more than 50 employees, and of those employers the proposal would apply to employees making less than $50,000/year.
If this is true, then that would mark an interesting change in policy for the city which included no such exemptions for the minimum wage and paid sick leave ordinances.
It has become clear that the UFCW, the labor union behind the proposal, has increased contact with Aldermen in the last few weeks and that they indeed plan to make this issue a factor for the upcoming 2019 Mayoral and Aldermanic elections. There are some Aldermen that have had recent success in attracting new restaurants into their wards, and they are concerned that the current proposal will hurt those businesses, so they want to exempt them.
We will take a good read of whatever is introduced tomorrow and send it to you for your thoughts. For our part, IRMA is continuing its discussions with Aldermen on this issue and working with like-minded business groups to defeat the proposal.
We will be in further contact with you shortly.

121 CRMA Report – July 2018

Chicago City Council Ordinance and Resolution Introductions

 

INTRODUCTIONS

RESOLUTION – TASKFORCE TO STUDY A CHICAGO GUARANTEED INCOME PROGRAM AND THE VIABILITY OF A CHICAGO EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT

Sponsor: Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th Ward), Ald. Derrick Curtis (18th Ward), Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward) and 33 additional co-signers)

Committee: Workforce Development and Audit

Entitled the “Chicago Resilient Family Initiative”, this resolution seeks to create a taskforce that would study two issues. First, it would research and develop a Universal Basic Income (UBI) model for 1000 families that could be provided with a minimum of $500/month that could be used for any purpose. UBI, also known as “guaranteed income” is being tested in other countries. Specifically, the Netherlands, Canada and Iran are all running pilot programs for segments of their populations. Finland (which ran a program in 2017) is ending its program among concerns about its actual benefits. In the US, a pilot program is currently running in Oakland, CA. Such programs are being explored partly in response to the automation of the workforce, which is beginning to leave sectors of the workforce unemployed. The thought is if people are guaranteed an income, then it might allow them to be creative in how they will contribute to an economy that is quickly becoming more automated.

The second initiative would be to “smooth” EITC payments currently received by the 1000 test families from an annual lump sum payment , to distributing those payments on a monthly basis instead. There has been some research into this issue which studies the premise that if low-income families were allowed to access the money in smaller sums on a more frequent basis, they would possibly accumulate less debt over time, as their budgets would experience less volatility. In addition, this initiative would consider the viability of Chicago creating its own version of EITC.

The taskforce would deliver a report to the committee by October 1, 2018.

 

RESOLUTION – PUBLIC QUESTION REGARDING BANNING THE USE OF PLASTIC STRAWS

Sponsor: Edward M. Burke (14th Ward)

Committee: Committees, Rules and Ethics

 

In advance of the next election to be held on November 6, 2018, the City Council considers 3 questions to present to the public for consideration on the ballot. The responses will produce non-binding results, but are generally used to check the temperature of Chicagoans on hot-button issues. We have seen these questions turn into ordinances depending on the response. The first two questions consider whether future marijuana sales should be directed to the public school system and mental health services, and whether the city should urge the state to push for an additional homeowner’s tax exemption.

The third question asks if the use of plastic straws should be banned in the city. This is a hot issue around the country as there has been a push in the environmental advocacy community to ban the straws that it says has damaging effects to marine life. Seattle recently banned food service businesses from using and giving away plastic straws, utensils and cocktail picks in favor of compostable products. Seattle also mandates and provides residential composting services for a fee.

ORDINANCE – SIGNS IN OVERLAY DISTRICTS

SPONSOR: Ald. Proco Moreno (1st Ward)

COMMITTEE: Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards

 

This proposal would allow signs in overlay districts that exceed the size limit to exist without a permit as long as the ordinance specifically waives the area/height restrictions.

 

ORDINANCE – $15 MINIMUM WAGE

SPONSORS: Ald. Proco Moreno (1st Ward), Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th Ward), Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward) and 8 additional co-sponsors

COMMITTEE: Workforce Development and Audit

 

This would amend Chicago’s Minimum Wage ordinance which is scheduled to increase to $13.00/hour on July 1, 2019 and then scheduled to increase with inflation thereafter. The proposal would increase the wage to $15/hour instead of $13/hour and continue to increase annually with inflation.

The proposal came out at the same time as a study was produced regarding the first two increases of Chicago’s minimum wage. The study claims that there was essentially no effect on the local economy as a result of those increases and subsequently advocates for a higher minimum wage in the city, at the state level and for the 80+ municipalities in Cook County that opted out of an increase in the minimum wage to now opt in. The premature study either de-emphasizes or outright fails to account for what the Mayor has done to achieve record tourism levels which have helped to take the sting out of rising costs to employers, attract headquarter moves, and shift more manufacturing and retail opportunities to the south side. In addition, the Mayor has attempted to encourage growth in development in neighborhoods by shifting money from downtown projects to specific areas of the city that have had challenges with attracting commercial growth. The study equates the growth in transportation and warehouse jobs to the minimum wage and not to the obvious reason, a significant change in the way consumers make purchases…through e-commerce. The advocate community would have you believe that minimum wage increases, on their own, have no effect on the economy. But people paying close attention to how the economy actually works know that there have to be other policy decisions made to help ensure that employers are able to continue profitability in the wake of significant government mandates. The Mayor has worked to help create opportunities for growth in the wake of more mandates.

It is difficult to draw conclusions from the first two years of the minimum wage increase, when the increase is going up fairly significantly for three years in a row that are not included in the study. We are monitoring this issue carefully.

 

ORDINANCE – DIVERSITY BID INCENTIVE

SPONSORS: Ald. Sophia King (4th Ward), Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd Ward), Ald. Walter Burnett (27th Ward) and 29 additional co-sponsors

COMMITTEE: Budget and Government Operations

This proposal would change bid preferences for contracts valued at $100,000 or more for bidders that agree to hire a larger base of city residents, or if the bidder agrees to hire a larger base of city residents of socio-economically disadvantaged areas.

 

ORDINANCE – PERMITTING OF SANDWICH BOARD SIGNS

SPONSORS: Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward), Ald. Proco Moreno (1st Ward), Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th Ward) and 25 additional co-sponsors

COMMITTEE: License and Consumer Protection

 

One of the best ways to attract attention to small, neighborhood stores and restaurants is through the use of small, removable signs set out on the sidewalk right by the door of the business. They catch the eye of passers-by, and are an inexpensive way to advertise specials likely to draw in more customers. Such signs have been used in the city for many years, although technically, the signs are unlawful. There have been a number of attempts over the years to change the law to allow these signs to no avail. This current proposal would allow business owners to have such signs as long as they first seek a permit and have proof of insurance. There are size, location and appearance restrictions for the signs.

 

ORDINANCE – DELIVERIES BY COMMERCIAL VEHICLES IN LOADING ZONES

SPONSOR: Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward)

COMMITTEE: Transportation and Public Way

 

As deliveries increase, especially in already congested areas of the city, it has become a priority to ensure that commercial loading zones are used purely for servicing local businesses and that commercial vehicles don’t remain parked in a loading zone indefinitely while attempting to service an entire neighborhood. Therefore, to keep traffic moving and to continue to provide space for all of the necessary deliveries, an amendment is being proposed that would limit standing time to 30 minutes for pick-ups and deliveries in curb loading zones.

 

ORDINANCE – HOURS OF OPERATION FOR OUTDOOR PATIOS IN THE CBD

SPONSOR: Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward)

COMMITTEE: Licensing and Consumer Protection

 

Ald. Reilly has introduced his annual ordinance to temporarily extend the hours of operation for outdoor patios in the Central Business District. Such establishments will be able to sell/serve alcohol for immediate consumption until midnight until December 1, 2018.

 

ORDINANCE – RESTRICTIVE SCHEDULING

SPONSOR: Ald. John Arena (45th Ward), Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th Ward), Ald. Derrick Curtis (18th Ward) and 27 additional co-sponsors

COMMITTEE: Workforce Development and Audit

 

This is the same proposal that was sent out to the membership earlier by email with a detailed description of how it proposes to mandate how employees are scheduled, sets out a system of penalty pay for changes made by an employer after a schedule has been issued (while allowing employees to change schedules freely after those schedules have been issued), mandates premium pay for employees that close and open, (even if they desire to work that kind of schedule), and takes away an employer’s ability to designate how many part-time employees will be on staff at any given time. It also purports to add an exemption for businesses that employ less than 50 employees (more than likely added as a tacit admission that the mandate is far too complicated and expensive for most businesses to comply with), but that exemption is far from clear as it mentions that the 50 employees must be “in the aggregate” in any location. We do not understand how the term “in the aggregate” can refer to an individual location, but we presume that the advocates will clarify at some point.

 

ORDINANCE – EXTENSION OF SIDEWALK CAFÉ PERMITS AND FEE REDUCTION FOR CERTAIN BUSINESS LICENSES

Sponsor: Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Committee: License and Consumer Protection

 

This proposal would allow sidewalk café permits to be valid for one year, instead of the 9 month permit that currently exists. If people want to sit out in the snow in January…so be it! It would extend the operation dates to all permits issued for the 2018 season.

In addition, the Mayor is proposing to reduce the fee for new, two-year business licenses from the current $250 to $125 for all licenses issued between July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019.

 

PASSED LEGISLATION

RESOLUTION – RECONFIGURATION OF STANDING COMMITTEES OF THE CITY COUNCIL

Sponsor: Alderman Edward M. Burke (14th Ward)

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

 

With the recent retirement of Ald. Michael Zalewski (23rd Ward), the City Council reconfigured the membership of some of its standing committees to create new Chairmanships and to ensure that the new Alderman of the 23rd Ward, former State Representative Silvana Tabares, was granted membership to committees. Of the committees in which CRMA has frequent interaction, the following changes were made:

 

Committee on Aviation

The new Chair is Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th Ward). Ald. Nicholas Sposato (38TH Ward) moved from Vice Chair to member, and Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th Ward) moved to Vice Chair.

 

Committee on the Budget and Government Operations

Ald. Tabares replaces Ald. Zalewski.

 

Committee on Committees, Rules and Ethics

Ald. Tabares replaces Ald. Zalewski.

 

Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development

Ald. Tabares replaces Ald. Zalewski.

 

Committee on Finance

Ald. Zalewski is replaced by Ald. Michael Scott, Jr. (24th Ward)

 

Committee on Health and Environmental Protection

Ald. Tabares replaces Ald. Zalewski

 

Committee on Human Relations

Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th Ward) becomes Vice Chair and Ald. Tabares is added to the committee.

 

Committee on Workforce Development and Audit

Ald Tabares replaces Ald. Zalewski.

Tanya TricheCONTACT:

Tanya Triche Dawood
vice President, General Counsel
Illinois Retail Merchants Association
312-726-4600
ttrichedawood@irma.org

121 CRMA Report – May 2018


The following proposals of interest to retail have been introduced before the Chicago City Council.

EXPANSIVE DATE REGULATION
CELL-PHONE AND MOBILE DEVICE MERCHANTS
OFFICE OF LABOR STANDARDS
WATER COST SHIFT

EXPANSIVE DATA REGULATION

An ordinance introduced by Aldermen Ed Burke, Brian Hopkins, and Brendan Reilly seeks to regulate websites, data breaches, data brokers, cell phone and mobile device sellers, and geolocation information.

It seeks to prohibit anyone who owns a website from using, disclosing, selling or permitting access to customer personal information and includes additional requirements for data breaches and data brokers and mobile phone privacy. “Customer personal information” includes:

  • name and billing information;
  • government-issued identifiers;
  • information that would permit the physical or online contacting of an individual such as physical address, email, phone, or IP address;
  • demographic information such as date of birth, age, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation;
  • financial information;
  • health information;
  • information pertaining to minors;
  • geolocation information;
  • information from use of the service including web browsing history, application usage history, content of communications, and origin and destination IP addresses of all traffic;
  • device identifiers, such as media access control (MAC) address or Internet mobile equipment identifier (IMEI);
  • information concerning a customer or user of the customer’s subscription or account that is collected or made available and is maintained in personal identifiable form.

However, if the customer gives the operator prior opt-in consent. The customer can revoke this option at any time and the operator must provide a clearly available option to do so at all times. The request for consent must disclose the following:

  • the types of customer personal information for which the operator is seeking customer approval to use, disclose, sell, or permit access;
  • the purposes for which the customer personal information will be used;
  • the categories of entities to which the operator intends to disclose, sell, or permit access to the customer personal information.

Interestingly, the operator cannot refuse to serve a customer, or in any way limit services to a customer, who does not provide consent or charge a customer a penalty, or penalize a customer in any way, or offer a customer a discount or another benefit based on the customer’s decision to provide or not provide consent.

An operator can use, disclose, or permit access to customer personal information without customer consent, but only to the extent necessary to achieve the stated purpose, in the following circumstances:

  • to provide the operator service from which information is derived, or services necessary to the provision of that service;
  • to comply with legal process or other laws, court orders, or administrative orders;
  • to initiate, render, bill for, and collect for the operator’s service;
  • to protect the rights or property of the operator, or to protect customers of those services and other operators from fraudulent, abusive, or unlawful use of, or subscription to, those services;
  • to provide location information concerning the customer in emergency situations.

Data breaches must be reported, without delay, to the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and affected Chicago residents.

Data brokers that maintain personal information shall register with the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

In terms of cell phones and mobile devices, the proposed ordinance, requires retailers who sell cell phones or mobile devices to provide notices to customers with a notice that customers can disable such services. The notice must also be prominently displayed at any point of sale where phones or mobile devices are sold or leased. The content of the notice is proscribed in the proposed ordinance.

Finally, the proposed ordinance seeks to regulate the collection, use, storage, or disclosure of geolocation information without affirmative express consent. It does provide some exemptions from affirmative express consent.

In all the above instances, there are various penalties and courses of action available and regulatory authority is granted to the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. The ordinance will take effect 180-days after passage.

Please share with us your thoughts on these various proposals as soon as possible.

Return to Top

CELL-PHONE AND MOBILE DEVICE MERCHANTS

Several years ago, the City of Chicago enacted an ordinance regulating food trucks including how far they had to be from an existing restaurant. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed an ordinance to regulate mobile merchants. A few years ago, temporary regulations were put in place. To date, only six licenses for such truck have been issued. This proposal would formalize that licensure and regulation. Regulations include truck size restrictions, when and who can operate, and where they can park and for how long (2 hours). The major difference is unlike the regulations for food trucks there are no provisions restricting how far such trucks have to be from a retailer selling similar merchandise.

Return to Top

OFFICE OF LABOR STANDARDS

Currently, there is no one agency responsible for the enforcement of labor laws within the City of Chicago. Alderman Ameya Pawar has introduced a proposal to combine such enforcement under an Office of Labor Standards. The new office would be empowered to:

1.     Promote Chicago’s labor standards through outreach, education, technical assistance and training for employees and employers;

2.     Collect and analyze federal, state, and local data on workforce and workplaces and coordinate enforcement;

3.     Engage in worker education, safety, and protection;

4.     Recommend efforts to achieve workplace equity for women, communities of color, immigrants, refugees, and other vulnerable workers;

5.     Otherwise enforce labor laws.

The Office will generate reports regarding complaints, cases, results of cases and enforcement actions, and anything else the Director deems appropriate. To the extent allowed by law, civil penalties and fines shall be allocated to the Office.

Return to Top

WATER COST SHIFT

Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa has introduced a proposal to provide discounted or free water for residents of Chicago called “Water-For All”. The credit will vary by resident and will depend on a formula based on the resident’s income. Like property taxes, these costs will be universalized over the other rate-payers.

 

Rob KarrROB KARR
President & CEO
217-544-103-03
rkarr@irma.org

121 CRMA Report – April 2018

CHICAGO FOOD CODE RULES EFFECTIVE JULY 1st

Per previous CRMA communications, beginning July 1st, Chicago specific food safety rules take effect. Generally, they follow the federal model food code but there are some slight differences. The final rules can be found here and, for your convenience, a marked-up version noting the changes can be found here.

This is simply a reminder that they take effect July 1st. Please let us know if you have any questions.

 

INTRODUCTIONS AND ORDINANCES 

 

The following proposals of interest to retail have been introduced before the Chicago City Council.
  •        Expansive Date Regulation
  •        Cell-Phone and Mobile Device Merchants
  •        Office of Labor Standards
  •        Water Cost Shift
EXPANSIVE DATA REGULATION
An ordinance introduced by Aldermen Ed Burke, Brian Hopkins, and Brendan Reilly seeks to regulate websites, data breaches, data brokers, cell phone and mobile device sellers, and geolocation information.

 

It seeks to prohibit anyone who owns a website from using, disclosing, selling or permitting access to customer personal information and includes additional requirements for data breaches and data brokers and mobile phone privacy. “Customer personal information” includes:
  •        name and billing information;
  •        government-issued identifiers;
  •        information that would permit the physical or online contacting of an individual such as physical address, email, phone, or IP address;
  •        demographic information such as date of birth, age, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation;
  •        financial information;
  •        health information;
  •        information pertaining to minors;
  •        geolocation information;
  •        information from use of the service including web browsing history, application usage history, content of communications, and origin and destination IP addresses of all traffic;
  •        device identifiers, such as media access control (MAC) address or Internet mobile equipment identifier (IMEI);
  •       information concerning a customer or user of the customer’s subscription or account that is collected or made available and is maintained in personal identifiable form.

 

However, if the customer gives the operator prior opt-in consent. The customer can revoke this option at any time and the operator must provide a clearly available option to do so at all times. The request for consent must disclose the following:

 

  •         the types of customer personal information for which the operator is seeking customer approval to use, disclose, sell, or permit access;
  •         the purposes for which the customer personal information will be used;
  •        the categories of entities to which the operator intends to disclose, sell, or permit access to the customer personal information.
Interestingly, the operator cannot refuse to serve a customer, or in any way limit services to a customer, who does not provide consent or charge a customer a penalty, or penalize a customer in any way, or offer a customer a discount or another benefit based on the customer’s decision to provide or not provide consent.
An operator can use, disclose, or permit access to customer personal information without customer consent, but only to the extent necessary to achieve the stated purpose, in the following circumstances:
  •        to provide the operator service from which information is derived, or services necessary to the provision of that service;
  •        to comply with legal process or other laws, court orders, or administrative orders;
  •        to initiate, render, bill for, and collect for the operator’s service;
  •        to protect the rights or property of the operator, or to protect customers of those services and other operators from fraudulent, abusive, or unlawful use of, or subscription to, those services;
  •       to provide location information concerning the customer in emergency situations.
Data breaches must be reported, without delay, to the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and affected Chicago residents.

 

Data brokers that maintain personal information shall register with the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

 

In terms of cell phones and mobile devices, the proposed ordinance, requires retailers who sell cell phones or mobile devices to provide notices to customers with a notice that customers can disable such services. The notice must also be prominently displayed at any point of sale where phones or mobile devices are sold or leased. The content of the notice is proscribed in the proposed ordinance.

 

Finally, the proposed ordinance seeks to regulate the collection, use, storage, or disclosure of geolocation information without affirmative express consent. It does provide some exemptions from affirmative express consent.

 

In all the above instances, there are various penalties and courses of action available and regulatory authority is granted to the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. The ordinance will take effect 180-days after passage.

 

Please share with us your thoughts on these various proposals as soon as possible.

 

CELL-PHONE AND MOBILE DEVICE MERCHANTS

 

Several years ago, the City of Chicago enacted an ordinance regulating food trucks including how far they had to be from an existing restaurant. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed an ordinance to regulate mobile merchants. A few years ago, temporary regulations were put in place. To date, only six licenses for such truck have been issued. This proposal would formalize that licensure and regulation. Regulations include truck size restrictions, when and who can operate, and where they can park and for how long (2 hours). The major difference is unlike the regulations for food trucks there are no provisions restricting how far such trucks have to be from a retailer selling similar merchandise.

 

OFFICE OF LABOR STANDARDS

 

Currently, there is no one agency responsible for the enforcement of labor laws within the City of Chicago. Alderman Ameya Pawar has introduced a proposal to combine such enforcement under an Office of Labor Standards. The new office would be empowered to:
1.     Promote Chicago’s labor standards through outreach, education, technical assistance and training for employees and employers;
2.     Collect and analyze federal, state, and local data on workforce and workplaces and coordinate enforcement;
3.     Engage in worker education, safety, and protection;
4.     Recommend efforts to achieve workplace equity for women, communities of color, immigrants, refugees, and other vulnerable workers;
5.     Otherwise enforce labor laws.
The Office will generate reports regarding complaints, cases, results of cases and enforcement actions, and anything else the Director deems appropriate. To the extent allowed by law, civil penalties and fines shall be allocated to the Office.

 

WATER COST SHIFT

 

Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa has introduced a proposal to provide discounted or free water for residents of Chicago called “Water-For All”. The credit will vary by resident and will depend on a formula based on the resident’s income. Like property taxes, these costs will be universalized over the other rate-payers.

 

Rob KarrRob Karr
President & CEO
217-544-1003
rkarr@irma.org

121 CRMA Report – March 2018

CITY COUNCIL ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

INTRODUCTION

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has introduced a proposed ordinance that seeks to redefine “tobacco product”, ban free samples of tobacco products, and require signage. The definition of “tobacco product” is amended to include electronic cigarettes or any component or part thereof. Free samples are banned including the use of any price reduction instrument for any free or nominally priced tobacco product or sample. Additionally, it would require anyone selling tobacco products to post a sign at every public entrance warning potential customers of the dangers the adverse or potentially adverse effects of tobacco products as well as where individuals can obtain assistance in quitting. These signs would be developed by the Chicago Department of Public Health and made available for downloading and printing. The ordinance can be read here .

If you have comments, please contact Rob Karr, IRMA’s President/CEO, as soon as possible. Given this is the Mayor’s initiative and he is fervently anti-tobacco, this is expected to move very quickly.

Rob KarrCONTACT
Rob Karr
President & CEO
Illinois Retail Merchants Association
217-544-1003
rkarr@irma.org