Minimum Wage for Chicago and Cook County Set to Increase July 1

The minimum wage rate for most workers in the state of Illinois won’t change until 2020, but employers in some municipalities will see an increase a little sooner than that. Effective July 1, 2019, employers in the City of Chicago must post the updated 2019 Chicago Minimum Wage notice to inform workers in the city of the new minimum wage rate, while employers in Cook County are required to post the updated 2019 Cook County Minimum Wage notice.

Illinois Minimum Wage: Different Rates for State, City, and County

The Illinois Legislature recently passed a bill to increase the minimum wage to $15.00 over the course of several years, with the first increase going into effect on January 1, 2020. Prior to this legislative increase, the rate remained stagnant at $8.25 per hour for nearly a decade.

Although the state minimum wage has been higher than the $7.25 federal minimum wage and the wages of many other states in the region, Illinois workers in areas with a high cost of living still found it insufficient for their needs. In a 2014 report, Chicago’s Minimum Wage Working Group found that Chicago’s cost of living was 20.1 percent higher than the rest of Illinois. Despite high costs, Chicago’s workforce was also subsisting on low wages, with nearly 31 percent of workers earning $13.00 per hour or less. According to the U.S. Census, 22.1 percent of Chicagoans lived below the poverty level in comparison to 13.7 percent of the overall Illinois population.

2019 Chicago Minimum Wage Notice

In 2014, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance to slowly increase the minimum wage for workers in the city to $13.00 per hour by 2019. Starting in 2020, the minimum wage will increase according to inflation (capped at 2.5%). Employers who employ tipped workers are permitted to use a tip credit to make up a portion of the minimum wage, although they must pay a base minimum wage which increases each year according to inflation.

2019 Chicago Minimum Wage NoticeEffective July 1, 2019, the minimum wage for non-tipped employees will increase to $13.00 per hour, while the base minimum for tipped employees increases to $6.40 per hour. The Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) has updated the Chicago Minimum Wage notice with the minimum wage rates and overtime minimum wage rates for tipped and non-tipped employees. The new poster also includes the new URL for the BACP website for employees who want more information on the minimum wage ordinance.

CPC provides the Chicago Minimum Wage notice as a two-on-one poster with the Paid Sick Leave notice, which is required for employers of hourly employees who work within the city for at least 80 hours within a 120-day period. The City of Chicago Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Poster has been updated for the July 1 minimum wage increase and is now available for $13.95. The notices are also available as an Add-On for Illinois Mobile Poster Paks.

The Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance applies to employers with a business facility within the city, and to employees  who work within the geographic boundaries of the city for 2 or more hours within any two-week period. Covered employers are required to post the current Chicago Minimum Wage notice in a conspicuous place in each facility within the geographic boundaries of the City where any covered employee works (Municipal Code of Chicago, Sec. 1-24-070).

Employers are also required to provide a copy of the notice to current employees with their first paycheck after the increase goes into effect, and to new employees with their first paycheck after hire. The notice is available on chicago.gov.

2019 Cook County Minimum Wage Notice

In 2016, Cook County followed Chicago in establishing a municipal minimum wage. The Cook County ordinance will increase the minimum wage to $13.00 by 2020, after which the rate will increase in accordance with inflation (capped at 2.5%). Effective July 1, 2019, the minimum wage for non-tipped employees will increase to $12.00 per hour, while the base minimum for tipped employees increases to $5.25 per hour. The Cook County Commission on Human Rights has updated the Cook County Minimum Wage notice with the minimum wage rate for tipped workers.

2019 Cook County Minimum Wage NoticeCPC provides the Cook County Minimum Wage notice as a two-on-one poster with the Earned Sick Leave notice, which is required for employers of hourly employees who work within the city for at least 2 hours per week. The Cook County Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Poster has been updated for the July 1 minimum wage increase and is now available for $13.95.

Covered employers are required to post the current Cook County Minimum Wage notice in a conspicuous place in each facility within the geographic boundaries of the county where any covered employee works (Code of Ordinances for Cook County, Sec. 42-19). This requirement applies to employers who employer 4 or more employees or 1 or more domestic workers. Employees are covered by the Chicago Minimum Wage ordinance if they work within the geographic boundaries of the city for 2 or more hours within any two-week period.

Employers are also required to provide a copy of the notice to current employees with their first paycheck after the increase goes into effect, and to new employees with their first paycheck after hire. The notice is available on cookcountyil.gov.

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Please keep in mind that CPC cannot provide legal advice. If you have a question about how labor law applies to your specific workplace situation, please consult your local labor department or an employment lawyer.

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