Chicago, Cook County minimum wage increase takes effect

Fair Workweek Ordinance in Chicago also takes effect

ByJason Knowles and Ann Pistone, ABC7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Saturday, July 2, 2022
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The minimum wage in Chicago and suburban Cook County increased Friday and in the city, new parts of the Fair Workweek Ordinance took effect.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The minimum wage in Chicago and suburban Cook County increased Friday.

The ABC 7 I-Team found out who may and may not benefit, and breaks down the numbers in your paycheck.

The minimum wage increase comes just in time for those struggling as the cost of everything is going up. But how much money could you get? It depends on what you do and how many employees there are at your company.

"That's a little more money you can buy groceries with," says Rosemary Coleman who is ready to see more money in her paycheck.

When she gets her check these days, she pays her bills, rent, light bill, gas bill, and may have only $100 left, which she says is not enough. So she's looking forward to the increase.

At "Can't Believe It's Not Meat" in Old Town, owners said they already pay more than the minimum wage. They plan to pay even more at all three of her locations to stay competitive and keep workers.

"Now I will have to keep going higher and higher than the minimum wage because a lot of people don't want to work for minimum wage," Owner Laricia Baker told the I-Team.

"We need it even more now because people are financially struggling," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said when speaking to workers at Navy Pier Friday morning.

Lightfoot said the move is a victory for working class employees who are the backbone of the city

"We were the first city in the state to get to $15 and its going up today," she added.

"We estimate they're close to 500,000 workers, that this increase will affect and help uplift and each and every one of them should see that increase in their next paycheck," said the deputy chief of staff for the Chicago Federation of Labor.

She is reminding that employers must comply with the change.

"Employers need to know that these wage increases are not optional. Our city's labor laws, including the minimum wage, are an important backbone of our city's economy and provide stability to working families. We've worked with the city to ensure in comprehensive enforcement of our city's labor laws," she said.

Chicago Minimum Wage Increase

Companies in Chicago with 21 employees or more will need to pay workers at least $15.40 an hour.

Businesses with fewer than 21 employees are required to pay employees at least $14.50 an hour.

Domestic workers like those in childcare and home health services must be paid at least $15.40 an hour, regardless of the size of the company.

For tipped employees in Chicago, the minimum wage will be $9.24 for employers with 21 or more workers and $8.70 an hour for businesses with fewer than 21 workers. Employers must also make up the difference between any tips received and the minimum wage for non-tipped workers.

Domestic workers like those in childcare and home health services must be paid the same, regardless of the size of the company.

Cook County Minimum Wage Increase

In suburban Cook County, the minimum wage for non-tipped workers will increase to $13.35 an hour and $7.40 for tipped workers.

Fair Workweek Ordinance

In Chicago, enhancements to the Fair Workweek Ordinance take effect, which require employers in covered industries to post work schedules with at least 14 days' notice.

Employees need to earn less than $29.35 per-hour or $56,381 a year to gain the protection. Covered industries include building services, healthcare, hotel, manufacturing, restaurant, retail, or warehouse services.

Also as part of Chicago's Sexual Harassment Laws, all employers in Chicago are required to have a written policy on sexual harassment, display a public notice advising of the prohibition on sexual harassment where employees can see, and conduct annual training.

On January 1, the Illinois minimum wage increased to $12 an hour. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

If you are not seeing the minimum wage increase in your paycheck and you think you should be getting it, you may want to avoid confronting your boss. Instead you can report it.

Report to City of Chicago

Report to Cook County