Chicago – Women Employed, which has pursued equity for women in the workforce for 50 years, today applauded Chicago City Council members for passing an ordinance to provide guaranteed paid time off to workers in an overwhelming vote of 36-12. The ordinance expands on the existing city ordinance providing five paid sick days, adding five days of paid time off.
Chicago’s ordinance ensures the city’s protections don’t lag behind, and in fact exceed, the Paid Leave for All Workers Act passed by the state legislature that goes into effect Jan 1, 2024. The new city law will be one of the most forward-thinking policies in the nation, mainly benefitting part-time and low-paid workers, especially women and people of color who are concentrated in jobs that don’t typically provide benefits.
“Women Employed is proud to be based in a city that continues to be a national leader of progressive policies that prioritize working people,” Cherita Ellens, President and CEO of Women Employed said. “We thank Mayor Johnson, Ald. Rodriguez, the chair of the Workforce Development Committee and chief sponsor of the ordinance, and Ald. Gutierrez, the vice chair of the Workforce Development Committee and a co-sponsor, for championing this life-changing legislation which advances gender and racial equity. We also want to thank our trusted partners at the Chicago Federation of Labor, The Shriver Center on Poverty Law, ARISE Chicago, Raise the Floor Alliance, and so many others who made this moment a reality.”
Access to paid time off is critical to workers and their families who are struggling to make ends meet in a challenging economy. It gives workers time to spend with their children, care for their health, attend to family obligations, and celebrate milestones like graduations. Paid time off also affords workers the ability to stay home when they’re sick, preventing their colleagues from getting sick and missing work. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, access to paid time off improves worker health, productivity, and retention, which reduces employer turnover costs.
Women Employed has been committed since its inception to ensuring all workers have paid leave. As the head of the Sick Time Chicago Coalition, WE joined our partners to win earned sick time ordinances in Chicago and Cook County, impacting over half a million working people. WE co-led the statewide coalition which successfully championed the Paid Leave for All Workers Act, earlier this year. More information on Women Employed and its mission can be found here.
About Women Employed
Since 1973, Women Employed has worked to improve the economic status of women and remove barriers to economic equity by affecting policy change, expanding access to educational opportunities, and advocating for fair and inclusive workplaces so that all women, families, and communities can thrive. For more information, visit womenemployed.org or follow @WomenEmployed on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.