In 2017 the Chicago City Council passed a sick leave ordinance that required companies doing business here to provide 5 sick days a year to their workers. It passed 48 to nothing.
In typical City Council style, it was a grand gesture that went on the shelf to collect dust until 2019 when an office was created to actually enforce a number of pro-worker laws that the Council has enacted regarding sick leave, scheduling and minimum wage.
The office was given a budget and five investigators.
Yesterday we saw some results.
Major props to one of my favorite alders, Susan Sadlowski Garza who headed the work force committee in Council and to one of my favorite organizations, Arise Chicago.
The city of Chicago reached settlements worth more than $1.1 million with Mondelez and a Burger King franchisee for alleged violations of its paid sick leave ordinance.
The separate agreements, announced Thursday, include $935,000 in restitution for almost 3,000 Chicago workers allegedly denied full sick leave benefits under the city’s 2017 law.
A footnote to the story is the relationship of Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, Alder “Slow” Eddie Burke and Tri-City Foods, which owns the Burger Kings.
See, it was Tri-City Foods that refused to pay sick leave to 2,473 employees at 40 Burger King locations in Chicago from July 2017 through November 2020.
Work sick or go home without pay they said in the middle of a pandemic.
And it was Tri-City’s CEO Shoukat Dhanani who gave $10,000 to County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s mayoral campaign. The donation was arranged by “Slow” Eddie.
Many believe it was the news of Preckwinkle’s money relationship to Eddie Burke that sunk her campaign for mayor.