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.