chicago politics

Illinois' minimum wage isn't going up July 1, but several locations will see a change

Statewide, a 2024 minimum wage increase took effect on Jan. 1, when the state's minimum wage climbed to $14 an hour

Daniel Grill | Getty Images

Illinois' minimum wage may not be going up at the start of July, but some locations will still be seeing a raise.

That's because both Chicago and Cook County are set to see hikes in their minimum wages.

Statewide, a 2024 minimum wage increase took effect on Jan. 1, when the state's minimum wage climbed to $14 an hour.

Here's a look at what to expect:

Chicago minimum wage

The yearly incremental hourly minimum wage increase will take effect on July 1, meaning many Chicago workers will receive a midsummer raise. A new paid time off policy, among other measures, is also slated to take effect at the beginning of next month.

Chicago's hourly minimum wage will increase from $15.80 to $16.20 for employers with 21 or more employees and from $15 to $16.20 for employers with 20 or fewer employees, removing the tiered wages for large and small businesses.

Since increasing to $15 in 2021, the hourly minimum wage increases annually according to changes in the Consumer Price Index or at a rate of 2.5%, whichever is lower, according to Johnson's office.

Additionally, the hourly minimum wage will be subsidized for youth programs, with the minimum wage for subsidized transitional employment programs set at $15.

As part of the One Fair Wage ordinance, the tipped wage credit for tipped workers is being phased out over a five-year period.

Wages of tipped workers, such as restaurant servers, bartenders and bussers who currently earn an hourly minimum wage of $11.02 will see a yearly increase of 8% until it reaches parity with the city's standard minimum wage on July 1, 2028.

Cook County minimum wage

Effective July 1, the Cook County minimum wage will increase to $14.05 for non-tipped workers, county officials announced. The rate will remain $8.40 for tipped employees, however,

"Each year, the minimum wage increases according to a formula set by the Ordinance," the county said in a notice to residents. "The [minimum wage ordinance] applies to hourly, salaried and tipped employees over the age of 18, working in Cook County, even those who may be working within Cook County to make deliveries or driving within the County limits."

What else is changing?

Beyond the minimum wage, Chicago will also see changes in paid time off policies.

According to Mayor Brandon Johnson's office, implementation of the Paid Leave and Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance, and a "scheduled enhancement" of the Fair Workweek Ordinance requirements will all take effect on July 1.

Under the measure, all Chicago workers who work at least 80 hours within any 120-day period are guaranteed up to five days of paid leave and five days of paid sick leave.

The paid leave requirements state the following:

  • Employees accrue at a rate of 1 hour of paid leave for every 35 hours worked (up to 40 hours in a 12-month period) 
  • Employees must be allowed to use accrued paid leave no later than on the 90th day following the commitment of employment 
  • Employees can carry over up to 16 hours between 12-month periods (if paid leave is not front loaded). 
  • Employees can use paid leave for any reason 

The paid sick and safe leave requirements state the following:

  • Employees accrue at a rate of 1 hour of sick leave for every 35 hours worked (up to 40 hours in a 12-month period) 
  • Employees must be allowed to use accrued sick leave no later than on the 30th day following the commitment of employment 
  • Employees can carry over up to 80 hours between 12-month periods 
  • Employees can use paid sick leave for medical and safety reasons  

The Fair Workweek Ordinance will also include updated compensation metrics beginning on July 1.

Employees are covered under the ordinance if they work in one of the seven "covered" industries, which include the following:

  • Building services
  • Health care
  • Hotels
  • Manufacturing
  • Restaurants
  • Retail
  • Warehouse services

Additionally, employees must earn less than or equal to $31.85 per hour or less than or equal to $61,149.35 a year and if the employer has at least 100 employees globally.

If operating a restaurant, there must be 250 employees and 30 locations.

The ordinance requires certain employers to provide workers with "predictable work schedules and compensation for changes."

There are several other Illinois laws taking effect on July 1. See the full list here.

Contact Us