This is an important reminder about regulations that are in place to protect workers during the COVID-19 crisis. The Anti-Retaliation Ordinance prohibits employers from retaliating against workers for obeying certain COVID-19 related health orders. This means that employees cannot fire, demote, or otherwise retaliate against an employee that is taking government-mandated steps to minimize the transmission of COVID-19, or if they are obeying an order from their health care provider. It also protects those that stay at home to take care of a family member who is ordered to quarantine, isolate, or obey an order of a treating healthcare provider.
Importantly, the Anti-Retaliation Ordinance covers workers that stay home to adhere to the Emergency Travel Order that became effective this Monday, July 6. Issued by the Chicago Department of Public Health, this order requires all travelers that enter Chicago from a state experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases to quarantine for a 14-day period. These travelers must stay at a single designated home or dwelling during this quarantine period before doing any activities outside of the home or dwelling. Employees that are able to telework under these guidelines may do so. For more information on the order, including a list of the states covered and an FAQ, click here.
Obeying this Emergency Travel Order is critical to building on the health progress we have made over the last few months. Under the Anti-Retaliation Ordinance, businesses cannot take adverse action against an employee for staying home to self-quarantine in adherence with the Emergency Travel Order. It is essential for the safety of our community for all Chicagoans to be able to stay home without fear of retaliation if they are subject to this order.
As an additional reminder, if the employer is covered under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and if the employee is unable to work or telework due to one of the specified COVID-related reasons in the FFCRA, the employee is likely eligible for up to two weeks of paid leave under the FFCRA.
I thank all of you for your diligence and dedication in keeping our community safe. To help businesses and workers understand the Anti-Retaliation Ordinance and how it protects workers during COVID-19, I will be holding a webinar this Thursday, July 9 th at 2:00 pm. Please visit chicago.gov/laborstandards to register and learn more.
BACP Office of Labor Standards