• Minimum Wage Increases: How can You Respond?

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    As many of you are already well aware, the minimum wage increase ordinance was approved by the Cook County board this past Wednesday with a majority vote.  The impact of this ordinance, along with the mandatory paid sick leave, the Dept of Labor’s OT law (set to be in effect this December) and other proposed taxes has had many of you (our members) calling us and wondering, what’s next?  While Cook County has made their decision on this issue, there is still time for those of you impacted to begin making some decisions of your own. What do I mean by this?
     

    As it stands, there are several courses of action that concerned businesses (non- and for-profit alike) can take in response to this decision:
     

    ·         The current ordinance allows for home-rule municipalities to adopt their own resolution, relieving them from the County’s ordinance (both the mandatory paid sick leave and the minimum wage increase).  If this is important to you, you should reach out to your local, community chamber, business association or village to inquire accordingly.  The Villages of Palatine, Barrington and Mt Prospect are already in the process of voting on their own resolution. Bedford Park is currently exploring this option. 

     

    ·         The ordinance states that the minimum wage increase applies “to each Covered Employee for each hour of work performed for that Employer while physically present within the geographic boundaries of the County”.  HOWEVER, in the event that a municipality/village adopts a resolution relieving businesses within that municipality/village from this ordinance, any employee (even from a business outside that village/municipality) who happens to be working in a village/municipality with an adopted resolution are not subject to the minimum wage ordinance.  ALSO, any employee working remotely or outside of the Cook County boundaries are not subject to the minimum wage ordinance, even if their headquartered business is within the Cook County boundaries.

     

    ·         Nonprofit businesses were mentioned during the legislative committee session with concerns that this ordinance would add burden to the already-State-inflicted cuts to human services, potentially preventing people from working due to their reliance on various social services. As a result, nonprofits are encouraged to draft a letter, addressing the financial and program impact of this ordinance on your service delivery and send it to your respective commissioner, asking for consideration before the July 1st deadline, copying and also sending a draft to sponsor Larry Suffredin, County Board Commissioner, 13th District, Main Office, 118 N. Clark St., Room 567, Chicago, IL 60602 (Email: lsuffredin@aol.com Phone: (312) 603-6383)

     

    ·         Begin a conversation within your respective business about the impact that will be made as a result of this decision. If you would please send us a statement of the impact to suziw@wscci.org – we would like to collect these from our businesses and communicate to our contacts at Cook County in order to continually alert them to the ongoing developments surrounding this and other related issues.

     

    ·         Stay tuned to the WSCCI eblasts and communications for other opportunities to create conversation around short-term and long-term solutions to these and other issues.

     

    I encourage you to stay strong and stay the course – remember, we are all in this together. The WSCCI is proud to work with our partners to continue advocating on behalf of all businesses (for and nonprofit alike). 

    In good business,

    Ken

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