Illinois Mandates Paid Time Off for Employees in 2024

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Employers in Illinois will be required to provide their workers with paid time off for any reason after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law in mid-March that will go into effect next year. As of January 1, 2024, employers in the state must offer their employees compensated time off without mandating an explanation for their absence as long as the worker provides notice at least a week in advance.

Illinois is the third state to enact this legislation and the first in the Midwest, following Maine and Nevada. The state’s new law goes even further than its counterparts, encompassing businesses regardless of size. Seasonal workers, however — a staple in industries including hospitality — will be exempt from the law.

Chicago and Cook County have been testing grounds for similar laws. In 2016, the City Council unanimously approved legislation mandating employers in the city to grant their employees at least five paid sick days annually. Pritzker, who was elected to his first term as governor in 2018, has emphasized pro-labor legislation throughout his tenure with laws such as the One Day Rest in Seven Act, passed in May 2022, which requires that Illinois workers are allowed one 24-hour period off per week.

DoorDash forked over big bucks to Chicago municipal election campaigns

Third-party food delivery giant DoorDash has funneled “tens of thousands of dollars” into Chicago municipal election races, contributing more than $90,000 to aldermanic candidates alone ahead of the city’s election in late February, according to the Daily Line. Campaign filings also show donations ranging between $2,500 and $10,000 to City Council races, spread between a mix of contested seats and unopposed candidates. In 2021, the city of Chicago sued DoorDash and competitor Gruhub, accusing the companies of deceptive business practices. The cases, handled by the law firm of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll and Chicago’s law department, are ongoing.

UpRising Bakery may close after eight months of enduring anti-LGBTQ hate

Owner Corinna Sac tells the Northwest Herald that barring a “miracle,” UpRising Bakery and Cafe in far suburban Lake in the Hills may be in its final days after eight months of attacks by anti-LGBTQ demonstrators. In June 2022, the business became a target for anti-LGBTQ threats and vandalism over plans for a “very, very family friendly” all-ages drag show, with attackers frequently invoking dangerous far-right rhetoric that falsely links queer people to child abuse. In July, Lake of the Hills police arrested Joseph I. Collins, 24, of Alsip, in connection with the vandalism, charging him with a felony hate crime and criminal damage to property.

Despite the arrest and intervening months, Sac tells reporters that customers have all but disappeared but the intimidation has continued. “Closing our doors is the direct result of the horrific attacks, endless harassment, and unrelenting negative misinformation about our establishment in the last eight months,” she writes in a post on Facebook. “Local customers no longer come here because of the perceived threat that tarnished our good name and the fears of their license plate [being] photographed [so] they are harassed.”

Former employees allege workplace bullying at Chicago-based app CashDrop

A group of former employees at CashDrop, a locally-based mobile app fixture in Chicago’s hospitality industry, are leveling allegations of “workplace bullying, broken agreements, and a lack of transparency” against CEO Ruben Flores-Martinez, South Side Weekly and La Voz Chicago report. Some employees claim their experience at the company led to medical issues including hair loss and anxiety disorders. Founded in 2020, CashDrop offers free mobile storefronts for businesses and is designed to appeal to independent operators. Heavily marked to Latino communities in the U.S., the app netted more than $11 million in its latest round of investment in November 2022.

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