The Minimum Wage Rises in July

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Both employers and employees should be aware that minimum wage requirements will change as of the first of July. Wage hikes will occur in both the City of Chicago and Cook County. Illinois’ state-wide minimum wage is not changing at this time.

Chicago

The minimum wage is rising in the City of Chicago as of July 1, 2023. The City has progressively tiered wage requirements, dependent on the size of the employer.

For employers with 4–20 employees, the minimum wage will be $15.00 per hour and $9.00 per hour for tipped employees, such as restaurant servers. For employers with 21 or more employees, the threshold rises to $15.80 per hour and $9.48 per hour for tipped employees.

All domestic workers must receive a minimum wage of $15.80. The youth minimum wage is $13.50 per hour and $8.10 for tipped workers.

Employers must provide a notice to employees with their first paycheck, and every year within 30 days of July 1st, advising them of the current minimum wage, paid sick leave entitlements, and their rights under the Fair Workweek Ordinance (if applicable). Public notices that must be posted for employee view can be found here. More information on Chicago’s wage regulations can be found here.

Cook County

Cook County’s minimum wage will also be rising. The County sets its minimum threshold by taking the greatest rate among the federal minimum wage, the Illinois minimum wage, and a calculation that uses the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

On July 1, 2023, the Cook County minimum wage will rise to $13.70 per hour for most workers (from the current rate of $13.35) and to $8.00 per hour for tipped workers (up from $7.80). More information on Cook County’s wage regulations can be found here.

Illinois

The minimum wage in Illinois has been $13.00 per hour and $7.80 for tipped employees since the start of this year. It is scheduled to increase to $14.00 and $8.40, respectively, on January 1, 2024.

Changes on the Horizon?

There has been a push by some activists in Chicago to eradicate the tipped worker minimum wage and fold tipped workers into the general minimum wage of $15.00 (soon to be $15.80). The “One Fair Wage” campaign may have found an attentive ear with the new mayor, who has vowed to strike the “sub-minimum wage” in favor of all workers having the same wage floor within City limits.

Both employers and workers should keep an eye out for any future changes. Employers in particular should begin thinking through how they would meet the higher requirement if it were to become law.