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Coalition of Business Groups Oppose Chicago Paid Leave Proposal

October 27, 2023

Coalition of Business Groups Oppose Chicago Paid Leave Proposal

CHICAGO –The Chicago business community understands the need for balanced paid leave policies, which is why in early 2023, we worked to reach an agreement on the Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act to require every employer in Illinois to provide at least 5 paid time off days, for any reason. However, the Chicago paid leave proposal currently before City Council ignores the concerns of the business community and would have a devastating impact on the important industries that drive our city’s economy, employ our residents and create revenue to invest in critical city services.

While we came to the table to negotiate in good faith – even presenting a plan that would have doubled the amount of time off workers receive from five days to 10 days while limiting cost increases for businesses – organized labor repeatedly rejected attempts at a compromise that is fair for both businesses and employees. Instead, labor is insisting on implementing the most expensive and complicated form of paid leave in the country. The current proposal goes too far too quickly by nearly tripling the new, yet-to-be-implemented state paid time off requirements and inflicting a tremendous financial burden on every Chicago business, regardless of size or sector.

To make matters worse this proposal comes after the city implemented restrictive scheduling and moved to eliminate tip credits, and during efforts to quadruple Chicago’s real estate transfer tax, unleashing a compounding effect that will be especially harmful to small and minority businesses. Businesses across every neighborhood are already struggling to make ends meet due to continued supply chain and labor challenges, persistent crime, skyrocketing property taxes, and costly regulations recently passed by City Council.

As City Council considers this paid leave ordinance, we urge them to also consider the despair this policy would inflict on Chicago neighborhoods as it will leave large, mid-sized, small businesses and non-profits alike with no choice but to take their operations elsewhere and incentivize employers to keep their employees out of Chicago.

  • Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Englewood Chamber of Commerce
  • Hospitality Business Association of Chicago
  • Illinois Health and Hospitals Association
  • Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association
  • Illinois Manufacturers’ Association
  • Illinois Restaurant Association
  • Illinois Retail Merchants Association
  • Little Village Chamber of Commerce
  • Pilsen Chamber of Commerce
  • Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago