Chicago Mayor Caps Non-Union Workers' Vacation Accruals

Rahm Emanuel also announced the first maternity leave policy for non-represented employees on Sept. 7.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced the city's first uniform maternity leave policy for non-represented employees, saying Sept. 7 that the policy will modernize the city's practices and bring Chicago in line with standards from the private and public sectors. At the same time, he set new caps on the amount of vacation time non-union employees can carry over from year to year.

"Implementing the city's first maternity leave policy and reforming our vacation leave policies brings our city government into the 21st Century while increasing efficiency and reducing costs to the people of Chicago," Emanuel said. He had asked Commissioner of Human Resources Soo Choi in July to review the city's leave policies and recommend ways to modernize and streamline them. The review brought about the maternity leave policy, under which women can receive four to six weeks of paid leave after giving birth. Adoptive parents will be eligible to receive two weeks, and partners and spouses will receive one week.

Vacation leave will change from a prospective-earning to a current-year model that allows employees to carry over no more than five vacation days from one year to the next.

Under the current policy, a non-represented employee with more than 25 years of service could retire at the end of 2011 and receive compensation for up to 75 days of vacation. Under the reformed policy, the same employee would be compensated for up to 50 days in 2012; starting in 2013, non-represented employees can receive only up to 30 days. A non-represented employee with less than six years of service currently can retire at the end of 2011 and receive compensation for up to 39 days of vacation, but under the new policy, the same employee would be compensated for up to 26 days in 2012. Starting in 2013, non-represented employees can receive only up to 18 days.

More analysis will be done before a new policy on administrative leave is announced, and compensatory time is frozen until that analsysis is completed, Emanuel's office announced. Also, use of existing comp time and discretionary administrative leave time is subject to chief of staff approval until a new policy is developed.

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