Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



Elgin to opt out of Cook County minimum wage, sick leave requirements

Friday, May 26, 2017
Chicago Tribune
by Mike Danahey

Elgin to opt out of Cook County minimum wage, sick leave requirements

Email
Facebook
7
Twitter
1 of
Mike Danahey/The Courier-News
The Elgin City Council Wednesday night agreed to move along opting out of Cook County’s hike in the minimum wage and paid sick leave requirements. Less than 30 percent of the city is in Cook County, with the rest in Kane County.
 

Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News

2:22 pm, May 26, 2017

The City Council Wednesday night agreed to move along measures that will have Elgin opting out of the requirements of Cook County ordinances that establish minimum hourly wages and employee sick leave benefits that would impact some companies on Elgin's east side.

"Most of us agree that there should be an increase in the minimum wage and paid sick leave," Council member Rose Martinez said. "But this should be done at the state or federal level."

By an 8-1 vote and at the suggestion of Mayor Dave Kaptain, the Council directed city staff to put together a resolution urging either or both the state and federal levels to come up with higher minimum wage and a mandatory sick leave provisions.

Toby Shaw, who voted against Kaptain's request, said he felt that increasing the minimum wage could lead to inflation and that wages are best left for the free market to decide. Minimum wage rules break the laws of supply and demand, Shaw said.

The Cook County portion of Elgin makes up less than a third of the city, with the rest in Kane County. As a home rule community, Elgin, by council vote, can opt out what the Cook County Board decided late last year and has until July 1, when the new rules are set to go into effect, to do so.

The final Elgin City Council vote on the matter will be at the June 14 meeting.

Cook County's first wage increase, to $10 an hour, takes effect July 1. The wage rises to $11 a year later and to $12 in July 2019. It becomes $13 an hour in 2020. After July 1, 2021, and on every July 1 afterward, the minimum wage would increase by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or 2.5 percent, whichever is less. Currently the state's minimum wage is $8.25.

As for the sick leave regulations, according to information provided by Elgin staff, covered employees would be eligible for earned sick leave when they work at least 80 hours for an employer within a 120-day period. They would begin accruing paid sick leave on the first calendar day after starting covered employment or on the date the ordinance goes into effect. For every 40 hours that the covered employee works after the worker begins accruing sick leave, the employee will accrue one hour of earned sick leave.

The accrued sick leave caps at 40 hours of earned sick leave every twelve months. At the end of the 12-month period, a covered employee can carry over half of unused sick leave up to a maximum of 20 hours.

The earned sick time can be used when the employee or an employee's family member is ill or injured, for the employee to receive medical care, treatment, diagnosis or preventive care, or if the employee or family member is a victim of domestic violence.

Shaw said he felt the paid sick leave rules set a low threshold for who would qualify for it.

Council member Tish Powell requested staff provide statistics before the final vote on how many Elgin residents are working at minimum wage jobs either in the city or elsewhere.

Still, Powell said, opting into the Cook County requirements, "would make the city an island among other municipalities that don't adopt" the rules.

Supporting material for the Wednesday Committee of the Whole meeting noted that 29 Cook County towns already have decided to opt out of the requirements, including Hanover Park, Schaumburg and Streamwood.

Elgin, Hoffman Estates and seven other municipalities are considering doing so. Countryside, Evanston, Franklin Park, LaGrange and Oak Park have decided to abide by the Cook County requirements, according to the meeting memo.

Powell also noted pressures on low income-earners, including that rents in the area have become increasingly less affordable and in many cases are more than the mortgage on her home.

Powell said some big companies that pay minimum or low wages actually wind up having taxpayers ultimately subsidize their employees, as those workers turn to federal and state programs for financial support.

Council member Carol Rauschenberger said wage and sick pay issues are complicated but believes that giving more to those at the bottom is good economic policy and that there is evidence showing paid sick days actually increase productivity.

Kaptain said the Cook County rules create a patchwork quilt across the region, particularly with Elgin being in two counties.

Council member Terry Gavin said he heard from Little Angels, the home for children and young adults with severe disabilities. The organization already is adversely impacted by the state's budget impasse, Gavin said, and he was told that a hike in the minimum wage would be a detriment that could lead to layoffs.

Gavin also noted that increases in the minimum wage might also lead some companies down a quicker path to automated services, which some already are doing.

During the public comments portion of its regular meeting, the Council heard from about 10 people who favored Elgin opting in to the Cook County regulations.

"I understand the complications," Nancy Burnidge said. "But I also think Elgin can be a leader."

Speaking through a translator, Rosa Ramirez told the council she has been a temporary worker for 18 years. She works six days a week in order to pay her rent, and if she takes a sick day, because she is not paid for it, she isn't able to meet her rent.

Ramirez said a higher minimum wage would enable her to pay her bills and contribute more to the local economy by purchasing more goods.

Ramirez said she works in an auto parts factory. "What we do is important work. We deserve an increase," she said.

Chicago Workers' Collaborative Executive Director, Tim Bell, served as Ramirez's translator. He and others said they felt neither the state nor federal government would be acting anytime soon on minimum wage hikes or enacting paid sick leave legislation.

mdanahey@tribpub.com



Recent Headlines

City Club of Chicago: Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi
Friday, February 22, 2019
WGN Radio Chicago

Cook County Board approves $1.5 million settlement in 2013 jail beating case
Friday, February 22, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County paid more than $1.23 million in worker’s comp benefits in January
Friday, February 22, 2019
Chicago City Wire

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart: “This has been a bipartisan disaster.”
Thursday, February 21, 2019
WGN Chicago

EDITORIAL: Don’t bungle MWRD’s plan for an independent inspector general
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart Pivots To Podcasting To Fight Opioid Abuse
Thursday, February 21, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County board votes to permanently dismantle gang database
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

It's time to modernize the assessor's office
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Body found in vehicle at Cook County Forest Preserve near Hoffman Estates
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Daily Herald

Local legislators tout efforts to help those facing mental health issues
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Pioneer Press

It's time to modernize the assessor's office
Monday, February 18, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

EDITORIAL: We could have taken Gary Martin’s gun away
Monday, February 18, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Hours before Aurora mass shooting, former mayors met in Chicago to discuss strategies to reduce gun violence
Friday, February 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Supreme Court sets civil, criminal fee schedule
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Seniors: Are your Cook County property taxes delinquent? Your home could be at risk
Thursday, February 14, 2019
WLS Abc 7 Chicago

Editorial: Look out, taxpayers: When governments have more pensioners than employees
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of accused criminals on electronic monitoring are missing
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Glenview adopts Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances, effective July 1
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit over property tax assessments survives challenge
Monday, February 11, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

EXPERIENCE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE FOREST PRESERVES THROUGHOUT WINTER
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP