As you may know, the City of Chicago has passed legislation gradually increasing the minimum wage to $13.00 per hour by July of 2019. Now, suburban Cook County has followed suit and passed an ordinance which will also gradually raise wage for non-tipped employees to the $13.00 per hour level.
In the city of Chicago, wages for non-tipped employees have already begun their rise to $13.00 per hour in a series of steps. Effective in July of 2015, wages for non-tipped employees in Chicago were mandated to be at least $10.00 per hour, and then rose to $10.50 per hour in July of 2016. Chicago’s minimum wage will continue to rise $1.00 by each July until it reaches $13.00 per hour in 2019.
In Suburban Cook County, the same type of increases will take place, but will not reach the $13.00 per hour level until 2020. The first increase begins in July 2017 and will bring the minimum wage for non-tipped employees to a mandated $10.00 per hour. Thereafter, each July, the minimum wage will increase by $1.00 per year until $13.00 per hour is achieved in 2020. The County ordinance also provides an increase for those employees that work on a tipped basis earning less than $4.95, beginning in July of 2018. For these workers, their increases will be tied to the rate of inflation, but not exceed 2.5%. The Cook County ordinance will apply to all areas of unincorporated Cook County and the suburban areas of Cook County as well, although home rule communities may vote to opt out of the minimum wage increases.
There have been efforts in Springfield to try and pass a statewide hike in the minimum wage, but those efforts have been largely unsuccessful to date. It remains to be seen if the trend in Chicago and suburban Cook County will trigger renewed interest in a statewide raising of minimum wages.
All employers as well as employees in the City of Chicago and suburban Cook County impacted by these changes should be aware of the new levels so as not to inadvertently stumble in wage payments or earnings.
With over 30 years’ experience in advising employers and employees on workplace issues, let Boznos Law work with you to ensure you are ready to meet the challenges posed by the changes to the overtime laws. Call Bill Boznos today at (630) 375-1958 or contact us through our website.