Effective July 1, 2017, employers in Cook County, Illinois, will be required to pay a higher minimum wage that will continue to increase every year thereafter. On October 26, 2016, the Cook County Board voted to gradually increase the minimum wage to $13 per hour by July of 2020. This is similar to the City of Chicago’s minimum wage increase, which gradually raises the minimum wage to $13 per hour by 2019. The new law applies to the all of Cook County, including unincorporated areas. However, home-rule towns can vote to opt out of the increase.
The minimum wage will first increase from $8.25 to $10 per hour on July 1, 2017. It will subsequently increase $1 per year until reaching $13 an hour in 2020. Future annual increases will be tied to the rate of inflation, not to exceed 2.5%. Tipped workers who make $4.95 under Illinois law will not see a wage increase until July 1, 2018, and these wage increases will be tied to the rate of inflation, not to exceed 2.5%.
Employers in Cook County should prepare for payroll increases beginning July 2017 and continuing every year thereafter.