Recently hired City employees who don’t live in Chicago would have 90 days to move within city limits or apply for a waiver with the Department of Human Resources, under an ordinance the Committee on Workforce Development approved. The waiver would only be granted in cases of extraordinary circumstances like fleeing from an abusive partner, losing your house in a fire or other “natural calamity.”
The HR department was already granting 2 or 3 waivers a year, but recently learned there isn’t a law on the books that made it okay, says Human Resources Commissioner Soo Choo.
Choo’s office wasn’t aware of the oversight until a recent Inspector General investigation involving a residency issue found that there isn’t a provision allowing “wiggle room” for special circumstances. The IG’s office helped draft the legislation, Choo added.
City employees requesting waivers would have to file a written request to the Commissioner of Human Resources, who would have final say on the matter. The documents are public, but the “extraordinary circumstance” would remain confidential.