Cook County Announces Minimum Wage Increase for July 1, 2024

By Dana Holle, GovDocs Associate Counsel
Employment Law and Compliance
Published June 6, 2024
Cook County Announces Minimum Wage Increase for July 1, 2024

Beginning July 1, 2024, Cook County’s minimum wage increases to $14.05 per hour for non-tipped workers while the base wage for tipped workers remains at $8.40 per hour.  

Beginning July 1, 2024, Cook County’s minimum wage increases to $14.05 per hour for non-tipped workers while the base wage for tipped workers remains at $8.40 per hour.  

Background on Cook County’s Minimum Wage Ordinance

The Cook County Board of Commissioners originally passed the Cook County Minimum Wage Ordinance (MWO) on Oct. 26, 2016.  The MWO first raised the minimum wage to $10.00 per hour on July 1, 2017. Then, the minimum wage incrementally increased every year until it reached $13.00 on July 1, 2020. In the years since, Cook County’s wage requirements continue to adjust annually in proportion to the increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, capped at 2.5%.  

The Cook County Commission on Human Rights is required to issue a notice by June 1st announcing the updated wage rates that will take effect the next month. Accordingly, on May 30, 2024, Cook County announced the minimum wage update on July 1, 2024, to $14.05 for non-tipped workers and no update to the base wage for tipped workers.  

Cook County’s Minimum Wage Requirements

The MWO applies to employees who work two hours in a 2-week period for a covered employer, which includes the following: 

  • Businesses with 4 or more employees or a domestic worker; and  
  • Are located within the geographic boundaries of Cook County or have a business license issued by Cook County  

Notably, Cook County’s minimum wage provisions do not apply to workplaces located in a municipality that has opted out of the MWO or has passed their own minimum wage law, such as Chicago, which just announced its minimum wage increase to $16.20 on July 1, 2024. Over 80% of Cook County municipalities have opted out of the county’s minimum wage requirements.  

Finally, the MWO does not apply to employees under the age of 18 years old. However, employers should be aware of the state minimum wage requirements for certain minors under the Illinois Minimum Wage Act, as that rate is currently set at $12.00 per hour. 

Notice & Posting Requirements

Covered employers are required to provide employees with notice, specifically with their first paychecks and at least once per calendar year thereafter, of the current minimum wage rates and their rights under the MWO. Cook County has recently released an updated notice with the minimum wage rates going into effect on July 1, 2024.  

In addition, covered employers must also display an updated minimum wage poster. At this time, Cook County has not released the new minimum wage poster. Once released, GovDocs will ship updated posters to impacted customer locations as part of our Labor Law Poster Program. 

Managing Minimum Wage Rates in Cook County

Cook County is one of, if not the most, complex minimum wage counties in the United States. For that reason, employers must be cognizant of where their locations are geographically situated in the county, whether their locations are in areas that have opted out of the county minimum wage requirements, and if the state or a local minimum wage, like Chicago, applies instead of Cook County.   

For employers looking to simplify minimum wage management and easily determine location-specific wage rates in areas like Cook County, check out GovDocs Minimum Wage. 

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This Employment Law News blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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