The covid-19 pandemic has brought to light countless holes in the social safety net in the U.S., including the issues around sick leave for so-called essential workers. People who prepare food were hailed as heroes at the start of the pandemic in 2020 but that feeling quickly melted away, with Republicans becoming disgusted that low-paid workers aren’t just shutting up and going to work at menial jobs.


But some people are still looking out for the common worker, even in imperfect city governments like Chicago.

“Protecting workers can only be achieved if our businesses comply with Chicago’s worker protection policies which we have championed over the past two years, with more to come,” Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, Rosa Escareño, said in a statement.


“Basic paid sick leave is a fundamental right, and I am proud to deliver this huge victory for workers,” Escareño continued. “Thousands of workers are receiving the restitution they deserve today because one brave employee stepped up and brought these violations to our attention.”

“We hope this encourages more workers to come forward with complaints and reminds all businesses that we must work together to build a strong economy which prioritizes worker rights in our great city.”