Cook County issues notice to Minimum Wage Ordinance

Today, Cook County issued a notice to employees regarding the Minimum Wage Ordinance (MWO).

Effective July 1, 2022, the minimum wage will increase to $13.35 for non-tipped workers and $7.40 for tipped employees.

The MWO sets the lowest amount an employer must legally pay their employees. Each year the minimum wage increases according to a formula set by the Ordinance. The Ordinance applies to hourly, salaried, and tipped employees, over the age of 18, working in Cook County, even those who may be working within the County to make deliveries or driving within the County limits.

Cook County’s minimum wage is based on the greatest rate among the Federal minimum wage, Illinois State minimum wage, or on the County’s calculation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Pursuant to the MWO (Sec. 42-13) and rules (Sec. 2.04), Cook County’s minimum wage calculation may not be used when the unemployment rate in Cook County is 8.5% or greater. This year the unemployment rate did not warrant the recessionary breaker, but the 8.3% April CPI exceeded the inflationary cap, so the 2.5% cap rate was used.

Employees are covered by the Cook County MWO if:

  • The employee has worked for an employer in Cook County for at least 2 hours in any two-week period, and
  • The employer has four or more employees (or the employee is a domestic worker) and
  • The employer maintains a business facility in Cook County or is issued a business license by Cook County.
  • Teenagers (under the age of 18) must be paid the State’s minimum wage of $9.25.

Employees who believe their employer is not paying the required minimum wage should first check to ensure the municipality where they work does not have a different minimum wage. If the municipality has not opted out, employees can file a complaint with the Cook County Human Rights Commission. Complaint forms and additional information can be found online.

Ordinance No. 16-5768 (MWO) was passed by the Cook County Board of Commissioners on October 26, 2016.


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