Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Benefits Reach Illinois Suburbs

In recent years, local minimum wage and paid sick leave laws have been taking effect all across the country. Illinois is no exception. Last year, the City of Chicago passed a minimum wage ordinance that requires employers to pay non-tipped employees at least $10.00 per hour beginning July 1, 2015. Over the next four years the City’s minimum wage rate will gradually increase to $13.00 per hour in 2019.

cook-co-con0-map-thumb-revThis year, Cook County passed an ordinance establishing a minimum wage rate of $10.00 per hour beginning July 1, 2017 and gradually increasing to $13.00 per hour in 2020. Recently, both Chicago and Cook County also enacted ordinances that will allow employees to earn up to five days (40 hours) paid sick leave annually starting July 1, 2017.

Despite these apparent inroads, local business resistance has left several communities bordering Cook County to consider whether they want to opt out of the County’s minimum wage and paid sick leave requirements. The Cook County law applies to the entire county, including unincorporated areas. However, the State Constitution allows home-rule towns and municipalities to pass superseding laws.

Already, the Village of Barrington has approved an ordinance that allows Barrington businesses to pay employees the state minimum wage rate of $8.25 per hour instead of the higher Cook County rate. The suburbs of Elk Grove, Prospect Heights, Palatine and Wheeling are also considering whether to opt out of the County measures. They have until next July to decide.

Both Chicago and Cook County laws require employers to post notices in the workplace informing covered employees of their rights. The Chicago workplace poster is available here. The Cook County workplace poster will be available next year. Posting will not be required for communities that opt out.


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