August 19, 2021
Authored by: Patrick DePoy and Christy Phanthavong
The City of Chicago has amended its Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (the “Ordinance”), providing new reasons for taking paid sick leave under the Ordinance, and adding a new remedy for Chicago employees alleging wage theft against their employers (collectively, the “Amendments”). The Amendments are in full effect as of August 1, 2021, and employers should carefully review their policies and practices to ensure compliance. For additional background on the Ordinance, please refer to BCLP’s earlier post here.
New Cause of Action for Wage Theft
The Amendments create a new cause of action for wage theft. The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (“IWPCA”) already prohibited wage theft, and employees in Chicago already had the right to bring claims for untimely or incomplete payment of wages in state court. The Amendments give “Covered Employees” in Chicago a new remedy separate and apart from the IWPCA. Covered Employees are defined as those employees who work at least two (2) hours during any two-week time period in the City of Chicago, including time travelling for deliveries or sales calls but not including uncompensated commuting time.
Now, Covered Employees may file a claim of wage theft with the Chicago