June 1, 2020
Authored by: Christy Phanthavong
As the result of an Ordinance that was passed and became effective on May 20, 2020, Chicago employers are prohibited from taking adverse action against employees who take leave for certain COVID-19 related reasons.
The Ordinance applies to all employers who are covered by the Chicago Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (“PSL Ordinance”), which went into effect in July 2017. This includes any employer (any individual, partnership, association, corporation, limited liability company, business trust, or person/group of persons) that: (a) employs at least one Covered Employee, and (b) maintains a business facility within the geographic boundaries of Chicago and/or is subject to certain Chicago licensing requirements.
Most employees are covered, so long as they work at least two 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).
As part of a “[d]uty to allow Covered Employees to obey public health orders,” employers are prohibited from taking adverse action against an employee “for obeying an order issued by the Mayor, the Governor of Illinois, the Chicago Department of Public Health, … or a treating healthcare provider [in the case of 2-4 below],” requiring an employee to: