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Is Your Business Compliant With The Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance?

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Thanks to the Chicago City Council’s passage of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance in December 2014, workers throughout the city have seen steady and meaningful increases in their hourly wages. The first increase took place in July 2015 and will continue until the city’s minimum wage increases to $13 per hour in July 2019, putting Chicago as one of the most progressive cities in the country when it comes to minimum wage laws.

Both employees and employers need to understand the timelines and qualifications for workers to receive these types of minimum wage pay increases. Noncompliance could result in hefty fines and other penalties.

Schedule for Chicago minimum wage increases

The Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance covers both regular hourly workers and tipped employees, with different schedules and rate increases for each class of workers. The schedule for Chicago minimum wage increases is as follows:

Effective Date Minimum Hourly Wage for Non -Tipped Employees Minimum Hourly Wage for Tipped Employees
State Law $8.25 $4.95
July 1, 2015 $10.00 $5.45
July 1, 2016 $10.50 $5.95
July 1, 2017 $11.00 To be determined on or before June 1st of each year until 2019
July 1, 2018 $12.00
July 1, 2019 $13.00

How do I know if I am covered by the Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance?

The Ordinance is very clear on who qualifies for the city’s minimum wage laws. Employers must pay their employees according to the law if the business maintains a facility in the city limits and/or is subject any of the city’s licensing requirements. Employees must be paid according to the Ordinance if the individual works for such an employer meeting the aforementioned criteria while physically present in Chicago for at least two hours within any two-week period.

Chicago employment lawyers

If you are an employee or an employer dealing with legal issues related to the Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance, contact our office online or call 312-332-6733 to speak to one of our experienced Chicago employment lawyers. Goldman & Ehrlich serves clients throughout Chicago, Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, and McHenry County.