Some big measures will take effect in Illinois starting on July 1.
While there are several changes to Illinois laws set to take effect starting next month, there are some big shifts coming for Chicago-area residents.
Grocery Tax Suspension
Beginning July 1, Illinois' grocery tax will be suspended.
The move was part of the $46.5 billion state budget plan that was passed earlier this year and is aimed at providing relief to families struggling with rising costs of goods and inflation.
According to lawmakers, the state’s 1% sales tax on groceries will be suspended for the entirety of the new fiscal year, which officials say will save taxpayers up to $400 million through July 1, 2023.
The tax suspension will include "food for human consumption that is to be consumed off the premises where it is sold," other than things like alcoholic beverages, food with adult-use cannabis, soft drinks, candy and food that has been prepared for immediate consumption. Drugs or medicine will not be included.
Gas Tax Hike Delayed
A scheduled increase in the motor fuel tax in Illinois will be delayed from July 1 to January 2023.
Chicago Minimum Wage
Currently, Chicago's minimum wage is $15 an hour for employers that have 21 or more employees, and $14 an hour for smaller businesses.
In July, that rate is set to increase, according to city officials.
July 1, per the city's Minimum Wage Ordinance, Chicago's minimum wage for non-tipped workers will increase to $15.40 for large businesses that employ 21 or more workers, and $14.50 for smaller businesses.
For tipped workers, the rates will also increase -- to $9.24 for large employers and $8.70 for smaller businesses.
Teens under the age of 18 will see a new minimum wage of $12 for non-tipped employees, and $7.20 for tipped employees.
According to state law, teenagers under the age of 18 must be paid at least Illinois' current youth minimum wage, which is $9.25.
Chicago Workweek Changes
In addition to the city's minimum wage increase on July 1, certain industries in Chicago including healthcare, hotel, restaurant, retail or warehouse, will also be required to post work schedules with at least 14 days' notice, an increase form the previous 10 days' notice.
Cook County Minimum Wage
Cook County, which has its own minimum wage ordinance, will also increase its minimum wage on July 1, from $13 to $13.35 for non-tipped workers, and from $6.60 to $7.40 for tipped workers.
The current minimum wage for the state of Illinois for non-tipped workers is $12, and $7.20 for tipped workers. Last year, the minimum wage was $11 and $6.60, respectively.
On Jan. 1, 2023, those rates will increase to $13 for non-tipped workers and $7.80 for tipped workers.
Chicago Sexual Harassment Laws Changes
Chicago's sexual harassment laws will see some changes beginning July 1.
According to the city, those changes include:
- Adding sexual misconduct to the definition. Sexual misconduct is defined as any behavior of a sexual nature which also involves coercion, abuse of authority, or misuse of an individual’s employment position.
- Requiring all employers to have a written policy on sexual harassment. The written policy must be available in the employee's primary language within the first calendar week of starting employment.
- Requiring all employers to post a written notice on sexual harassment.
- Increasing the statute of limitations from 300 to 365 days.
- Create flexibility to notify a respondent up to 30 days from the time of complaint (compared to 10 days currently), to mitigate any retaliation such as denial of a reasonable accommodation request.
- Requiring additional annual training for all employees including the one hour of prevention training aligned with State requirements and one hour of bystander intervention. Supervisors and managers are required to have an additional one hour of training.
- Increasing the penalty for individuals or businesses that participate in discriminatory practices in the workplace including sexual harassment. The penalty is increasing from $500 - $1,000 per violation to $5,000 to $10,000.
In addition to the changes above, Illinois will also reduce its sales tax on certain items from Aug. 5-14. The items include clothing and footwear with a selling price of less than $125 per item and school-related items, including supplies.