Cook County to Raise Minimum Wage

E. Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

Last week, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to gradually raise the minimum wage to $13/hour by July 2020. This increase comes more than a year after Chicago began implementing its own minimum wage increase within the City.

The Cook County Ordinance provides that the first increase to $10/hour will take effect on July 1, 2017. Thereafter, the minimum wage will rise $1/hour per year until it is $13/hour on July 1, 2020. Any subsequent annual increases will be subject to the rate of inflation, not to exceed 2.5% per year.

Notably, and unlike the City of Chicago Ordinance, the Cook County Ordinance provides that tipped workers, who are required to be paid a cash wage of $4.95 under Illinois law, will have a minimum wage increase subject to the rate of inflation starting on July 1, 2018 (not to exceed 2.5% per year). As you can imagine, this pay increase to tipped workers could have a significant impact on the restaurant and hospitality industries, which maintain a large portion of their workforces by employing tipped workers.

The Cook County law will apply to the entire County, including unincorporated areas of Cook County. However, home-rule towns within the County can opt out of the minimum wage increase.

Should you have any questions regarding this minimum wage increase, or how and when it will impact your company, please do not hesitate to contact E. Jason Tremblay at 312-876-6676 or your Arnstein & Lehr LLP employment and labor attorney.

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