Evanston, Illinois Establishes a Fair Workweek Ordinance

Updated December 11, 2023: As of December 11, 2023, the City of Evanston has not published any Rules and Regulations, Frequently Asked Questions, or further clarification on the Ordinance, scheduled to take effect January 1, 2024.

Updated September 5, 2023: The ordinance, initially scheduled to go into effect on September 1, 2023, will now take effect January 1, 2024, and contains a host of scheduling and recordkeeping requirements.

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  • Evanston, Illinois Fair Workweek Ordinance will require covered employers to provide a written good-faith estimate of work schedules and premium pay for changes. 
  • The ordinance, which takes effect on January 1, 2024, includes a host of new scheduling and recordkeeping requirements for employers in the hospitality, food service, retail, warehouse services, building services and manufacturing industries.
  • The ordinance also prohibits covered employers from hiring new employees unless they have first offered additional work hours and shifts to current part-time employees. 

On May 23, 2023, Evanston, Illinois joined the state of Oregon and cities in California (Berkeley, Emeryville, Los Angeles, and San Francisco); Illinois (Chicago); New York (New York City); Pennsylvania (Philadelphia); Texas (Euless); and Washington (Seattle) in the group of jurisdictions that have enacted fair workweek legislation.  The Evanston Fair Workweek Ordinance will apply to employers of more than 100 employees in the hospitality (hotels and lodgings), food service and restaurant, retail, warehouse services, building services, and manufacturing industries. Any employees who qualify for minimum wage and perform at least two hours of work in a workweek in Evanston will be subject to the ordinance.  The ordinance is scheduled to go into effect on September 1, 2023, and contains a host of scheduling and recordkeeping requirements.   

Good-Faith Estimate

Employers will be required to provide workers with a written good-faith estimate of their work schedule prior to or on commencement of employment. The good-faith estimate must identify the projected days and hours of work for the first 90 days of employment, including the average number of weekly work hours, whether the employee can expect to work on-call shifts, and a subset of days and times or shifts the employee can expect to work and not work. 

Right to Request Changes to Work Schedule

The ordinance also provides covered employees with the right to request certain work hours, work times, or locations of work.  However, covered employers may accept or decline the request provided they notify the employee, in writing, within three days of the request.

Advance Notice of Work Schedule

Employers will also be required to provide employees with advance notice of their work schedules at least 14 calendar days before the first day of the schedule. Notice shall be provided by posting the schedule within the unit or department or workgroup either in a conspicuous place at the workplace that is readily accessible and visible to employees or using the usual methods of communication, or both. Upon request of an employee, the schedule shall be transmitted electronically.

Any employer-initiated schedule changes, including changes to date or time, that occur after notice is given must be made in writing and employees have the right to decline any changes that would add work hours or additional shifts that were not included in the original schedule. If a worker accepts a schedule change made less than 14 calendar days before the work period, the acceptance must be in writing.

Access to Hours for Current Employees

The ordinance prohibits covered employers from hiring new employees (including contractors and temporary employees) unless they have first offered additional work hours and shifts to current part-time employees.  Covered employers only need to offer these open shifts or hours to employees that the employer reasonably determines are qualified to perform the available work.  For example, if a covered employer needs a new cashier, the employer would not need to offer those hours to employees who have not been trained in cash handling or in the use of the employer’s point-of-sale system. Employers must offer part-time employees only up to the number of hours required to give the part-time employee 35 hours of work in a calendar week. 

For additional work for an expected duration of more than two weeks, the part-time employee will have 72 hours to accept the additional hours, after which time the employer may hire new employees to work the additional hours. If the expected duration of additional work is two weeks or less, part-time employees will have 24 hours to accept the additional hours.

Premium Pay for Work Schedule Changes

The ordinance also requires covered employers to issue premium pay whenever they change an employee’s schedule.  When the schedule changes with less than 14 days’ notice but more than 24 hours’ notice, the employer owes the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of pay. Changes made with less than 24 hours’ notice will result in premium pay of either: (i) four hours or the number of hours in the employee's scheduled shift, whichever is less, when hours are canceled or reduced; (ii) one hour of predictability pay for all other changes.

Premium pay is not required if:

  • An employee initiates the requested schedule change, which is confirmed in writing;
  • A mutually agreed-to schedule change between employees, or a coverage agreement between employees;
  • An employee’s hours are reduced due to the employee’s violation of law or of the employer’s policies;
  • The employer’s operations are compromised pursuant to law or force majeure (i.e., threats, public utility failure, act of nature, war, etc.);1 or
  • When an employee self-schedules.

Notably, simply agreeing or consenting to work additional hours or shifts does not exempt a covered employer from having to pay an employee schedule-change premium pay.

Rest Time Between Shifts

Employers are required to give employees at least 11 hours of rest between shifts unless the employee gives written consent to be scheduled for a shift that begins less than 11 hours after the conclusion of the previous shift. When an employee consents to work a shift that is less than 11 hours after their previous shift, they are entitled to time and a half for any hours worked less than 11 hours following the end of a previous shift.

Key Differences Between Chicago’s Fair Workweek Ordinance and Evanston’s Fair Workweek Ordinance

Some employers may wonder how Evanston’s Fair Workweek Ordinance compares to nearby Chicago’s. Here are some key differences:




Right to Rest

10 hours / 1.25 x pay

11 hours / 1.5 x pay

Offer of additional work to existing employees

The employer may offer the shifts and set a time limit or deadline for when covered employees need to reply before proceeding.

Employee shall have 72 hours to accept additional work for an expected duration of more than two weeks, and 24 hours to accept shifts of expected duration of two week or less.

Loss of hours with less than 24 hours’ notice premium pay

No less than 50% of the covered employee's regular rate of pay for any scheduled hours the covered employee does not work because the employer, with less than 24 hours' notice, subtracts hours from a regular or on-call shift or cancels a regular or on-call shift, including while the covered employee is working on a shift.

Four hours or the number of hours in the employee's scheduled shift, whichever is less, when hours are canceled or reduced.


A person who meets all of the following: (a) employs (i) globally, 100 or more employees, or in the case of not-for-profit corporations, 250 or more employees, (ii) 50 of whom are covered employees; and (b) is primarily engaged in a covered industry.

Any person who exercises control over 100 or more employees. “Covered employer” shall include franchisees with fewer than 100 employees, but are associated with a franchisor or a network of franchises with franchisees with more than 30 locations globally.

Next Steps

Compliance with predictable scheduling laws creates a host of structural and cultural challenges for covered employees. For example, managers need to be trained that they are obligated to finalize, publish, and distribute schedules with far more notice than they may be used to.  Similarly, managers need to be reminded that predictable scheduling laws prohibit even minor schedule deviations.  Managers who may be used to texting with employees and asking employees to cover for shifts are no longer permitted to do so without first getting an employee’s written consent.  Likewise, managers have to ensure that employees leave right at the scheduled end time of their shift, even if they are busy.  Allowing employees to stay after the scheduled end time, without an employee’s consent, would constitute a violation and trigger schedule-change premium pay obligations. Perhaps most difficult, managers need to understand that they simply cannot hire new employees to meet anticipated demand.  Instead, they need to comply with the access to hours process or risk incurring heavy fines and penalties. 

See Footnotes

1 If a shift is added as a result of an act of nature, domestic, threats, or public utility failures, then the employer must provide written notice to employees whose schedules changed.  The written notice must state the reason for the schedule change and explain why the affected employee is deemed to be essential. The law also requires the payment of hazard pay of $2.00 per hour to employees who work during the emergency.  

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.