City Council Moves To Protect Workers During Stay-At-Home Order

Mark Konkol

CHICAGO — The City Council Wednesday approved a measure to prevent some employers from firing people for staying home from work during the coronavirus crisis.

Under the COVID-19 Anti-Retaliation Ordinance, an employer cannot terminate or demote an employee for staying home from work due to a public health order if they're sick with coronavirus symptoms, work at a non-essential business under the state stay-home order or have been ordered to quarantine or isolate due to the virus.

“No employee should ever have to choose between staying home with COVID-19 symptoms or keeping their job,” Lightfoot said. “With the passage of this new ordinance, we can now ensure that employees will not be fired for following the directions of public health officials by staying home and saving lives."

Businesses could face fines of up to $1,000 per offense per day.

The city council also:

  • Approved an ordinance to provide financial assistance to concessionaires at O’Hare and
    Midway International Airports including restaurants, shops, advertisers and rental car companies including rent reductions, rent deferrals, reduced security deposits and other temporary relief.

  • Extended the expiration date for licenses that otherwise would expire during the pandemic and defer the collection of payments fromtaxicabs and Transportation Network Providers until June 30.

  • Voted to create a $3 million emergency relief package to stabilize affordable housing developments to support up to 3,400 low-income households in 40 properties with grants or no-interest, deferred payment loans of up to $75,000 to affordable housing owners. The funding is set for covering the cost of lost rent, general operating expenses, additional cleaning, and other COVID-19-related costs.

This article originally appeared on the Chicago Patch