Mayor Rahm Emanuel, background, enters City Hall pressroom after the City Council approved a minimum wage hike. Task force members include Aldermen Patrick O'Connor, 40th, from left; Joe Moore, 49th; Will Burns, 4th; Walter Burnett Jr., 27th; Ameya Pawar, 47th; and Emma Mitts, 37th. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, background, enters City Hall pressroom after the City Council approved a minimum wage hike. Task force members include Aldermen Patrick O’Connor, 40th, from left; Joe Moore, 49th; Will Burns, 4th; Walter Burnett Jr., 27th; Ameya Pawar, 47th; and Emma Mitts, 37th. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune)

On December 2nd, 2014, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance that will raise the minimum wage for Chicago workers to $13 per hour by 2019. This measure, sponsored by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Will Burns, Alderman Pat O’Connor, and 31 other aldermen, will increase the earnings for approximately 410,000 Chicago workers, inject $860 million into the local economy, and lift 70,000 workers out of poverty.

In 2015, the City will begin phasing in its new minimum wage, as provided by the ordinance. This phase-in will help simplify the early years of implementation for businesses and employers. The City’s ordinance raises the hourly minimum wage to $10 in 2015, $10.50 in 2016, $11 in 2017, $12 in 2018, and $13 in 2019, indexed annually to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) after 2019.

The ordinance also increases the minimum wage for tipped employees in from the current state minimum of $4.95 to $5.45 in 2015 and $5.95 in 2016, indexed annually to the CPI after 2016.

The full text of Minimum Wage ordinance is available HERE.

Implementation Timeline*

Effective Date Non-Tipped Employees Tipped Employees
Current $8.25 $4.95
July 1, 2015 $10.00 $5.45
July 1, 2016 $10.50 $5.95
July 1, 2017 $11.00 Increases with CPI*
July 1, 2018 $12.00 Increases with CPI*
July 1, 2019 $13.00 Increases with CPI*
July 1, 2020 Increases with CPI* Increases with CPI*

*The ordinance provides that the minimum wage will not increase when the unemployment rate in Chicago for the preceding year, as calculated by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, was equal to or greater than 8.5 percent. The ordinance also provides that if the CPI increases by more than 2.5 percent in any year, the minimum wage increase shall be capped at 2.5 percent.

Aldermen Bob Fioretti, 2nd, John Arena, 45th and Nicholas Sposato, 36th stand in back along with members of Action Now and the Raise Chicago Coalition at a press conference at City Hall in Chicago Monday Dec. 1, 2014 to advocate for a $15 minimum wage in Chicago.  (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune)
Aldermen Bob Fioretti, 2nd, John Arena, 45th and Nicholas Sposato, 36th stand in back along with members of Action Now and the Raise Chicago Coalition at a press conference at City Hall in Chicago Monday Dec. 1, 2014 to advocate for a $15 minimum wage in Chicago. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune)

To Whom Does the Minimum Wage Ordinance Apply?

  • Employers: Employers that maintain a business facility within the City of Chicago and/or are required to obtain a business license to operate in the City are subject to the minimum wage ordinance.
  • Employees: Employees who work two hours in the City within the period of two weeks qualify for the minimum wage required by the ordinance. This includes domestic employees and home health care workers. A union may waive its members’ rights to collect the minimum wage as part of a collective bargaining agreement.

Time spent traveling in the City that is compensated time, including, but not limited to, deliveries, sales calls, and travel related to other business activity taking place within the City, counts toward hours worked; time spent traveling in the City that is uncompensated commuting time does not.

To Whom Does the Minimum Wage Ordinance NOT Apply?

  • Employees taking part in government-subsidized temporary youth employment programs.
  • Employees taking part in government-subsidized transitional employment programs.
  • Employees of any governmental entity other than the City.
  • Certain employees exempted under state law, including:
  1. Employees under 18 years of age. Employers are authorized to pay these employees a wage 50 cents below the state minimum hourly wage.
  2. Adult employees (i.e. those 18 years of age or older) in the first 90 days of employment. Employers are authorized to pay these employees a wage 50 cents below the state minimum hourly wage.
  3. Disabled employees, pending state approval. Trainees taking part in a program for no more than six months, pending state approval.
  4. Employees working at a business with four or fewer employees, not counting the employer’s parents, spouse, children or other members of the employer’s immediate family.

For more information, visit the City of Chicago website at http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/supp_info/minimum-wage.html

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