Boodell & Domanskis, LLC


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From the Press Room

Boodell & Domanskis, LLC - Chicago Business Law

For City of Chicago Employers: Changes to Wage Payment and Paid Sick Leave

On June 25, 2021, the Chicago City Council passed a new Ordinance No. O2021-2182 as part of Mayor Lightfoot’s Chi Biz Strong Initiative. The Ordinance, which takes effect August 1, 2021, creates new wage theft protections and expands the covered reasons for use of paid sick leave.

  • The wage theft provisions take effect July 5, 2021
  • The paid sick leave provisions take effect August 1, 2021.

Wage theft is defined as the non-payment of any wages required for work performed including any paid time off, any paid sick leave and contractually required benefits.

The Paid Sick Leave ordinance mandates that all Chicago businesses provide paid sick leave to employees. Any employee who works at least 80 hours for an employer in Chicago within any 120-day period is covered by the ordinance and is eligible for paid sick leave. Employees begin to accrue paid sick leave on the first calendar day after they begin their employment. For every 40 hours worked, employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave.

Paid Sick Leave covers:

  • “Covered Employee” means an Employee who, in any particular two-week period, performs at least two hours of work for an Employer while physically present within the geographic boundaries of the City of Chicago. “Covered Employee” does not include any individual permitted to work for an Employer who has fewer than four Employees.
  • The Covered Employee is ill or injured, or for the purpose of receiving professional care, including preventive care, diagnosis, or treatment, for medical, mental, or behavioral issues, including substance abuse disorders.
  • A family member is ill or injured, or ordered to quarantine, or to care for a family member receiving professional care, including preventive care, diagnosis, or treatment, for medical, mental, or behavioral issues, including substance abuse disorders.
  • The Covered Employee, or a family member, is the victim of domestic violence or a sex offense (stalking, aggravated stalking, cyber stalking).
  • The Covered Employee’s place of business is closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency.
  • The employee needs to care for a family member whose school, class, or place of care has been closed.
  • A Covered Employee obeys an order issued by the mayor, the governor of Illinois, the Chicago Department of Public Health, or a treating healthcare provider, requiring the employee: to stay at home to minimize the transmission of a communicable disease, to remain at home while experiencing symptoms or sick with a communicable disease, to obey a quarantine order issued to the employee, or to obey an isolation order issued to the employee.
  • Federal Family and Medical Leave Act eligible purposes and employees.
  • “Family member” means a Covered Employee’s child, legal guardian or ward, spouse under the laws of any state, domestic partner, parent, spouse or domestic partner’s parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or any other individual related by blood or whose close association with the Employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. A child includes not only a biological relationship, but also a relationship resulting from an adoption, step-relationship, and/or foster care relationship, or a child to whom the Employee stands in loco parentis. A parent includes a biological, foster, stepparent or adoptive parent or legal guardian of an Employee, or a person who stood in loco parentis when the Employee was a minor child.

An employee may file a claim with the Office of Labor Standards or a civil action. In either type of action, the employer may be held liable for the amount of any underpayments and damages. These penalties are in addition to the penalties available to employees for an employer’s failure to comply with its Chicago paid sick leave obligations.

More details are available at:

City of Chicago Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Rules


The attorneys at B&D are available to answer your questions about any general issues concerning your business.

If you need assistance navigating these uncertain times, please reach out to us. Our law office has remained open and continues to serve our clients. We are available by telephone, email and Zoom.


Should you have any questions or wish to schedule a consultation concerning the topics in this article, please contact Audra Karalius at

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