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Tinley Park opts out of new Cook County rules

Friday, February 10, 2017
Chicago Tribune
by Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown

Tinley Park has become the latest community to opt out of new Cook County laws boosting employees' minimum wage and providing paid sick leave.

In an ordinance approved unanimously at Tuesday's Village Board meeting, the village requires Tinley Park private sector employers to abide by state and federal laws covering minimum wage, but exempts them from following the new county rules that take effect July 1.

Other Chicago suburbs, including Barrington, Oak Forest and Rosemont, also have voted to opt out of the county's regulations, which cover incorporated as well as unincorporated areas.

The Cook County Board last fall approved ordinances requiring employers to provide paid sick leave as well as increase the minimum wage paid to employees.

The minimum wage will rise from the state's current $8.25 to $10 starting July 1, with dollar-an-hour hikes kicking in July 1 of subsequent years, reaching $13 by July 2020. Beyond 2020, increases will be tied to the rate of inflation, but not exceed 2.5 percent.

Also starting July 1, employees, with few exceptions, will earn an hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of sick leave annually.

Suburbs that are near the border of Cook and its collar counties are concerned that they could be at a disadvantage if businesses in their communities are required to follow the new Cook County requirements while those nearby in an adjacent county are not. In a memo last month to trustees, Tinley Park village manager Dave Niemeyer noted that because portions of the village are in both Cook and Will counties, businesses "would essentially be operating under two different sets of rules" regarding wages and sick time.

Prior to the Village Board's vote, Trustee Michael Pannitto said that he was not opposed to protections for employees, but that the county regulations went "a little too far."

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