Schaumburg officials have opted out of Cook County's minimum wage and sick-leave laws, set to take effect on July 1.
In doing so, they followed an example set by their counterparts in Barrington, Mount Prospect and Rosemont, as well as satisfying the concerns of a strong majority of the Schaumburg Business Association's membership.
"The whole point of opting out is saying we really want a level playing field," SBA President Kaili Harding said.
While even some critics of the county laws have expressed admiration for their good intentions, they've complained that suburban businesses near Cook County's borders will have a harder time competing and keeping costs level with those in the collar counties.
Harding said approximately 70 percent of her business association's members have expressed strongly negative opinions about the laws' impact on them -- with those in the retail, restaurant and hotel industries saying they'd be especially affected.
The opt-out measure was part of the consent agenda at this week's board meeting, and so was adopted without any public comment.
Schaumburg Trustee Tom Dailly said he got the impression from the earlier village committee discussion that there was some support for a higher minimum wage -- only not in such a haphazard fashion.
"I would support a statewide initiative," he said.
Streamwood has a similar opt-out measure on the agenda of its April 6 village board meeting, while Elk Grove Village is taking a somewhat different tack by discussing having its own minimum wage and sick-leave laws rather than simply opting out of the county's.
Cook County's ordinance gradually increases the minimum wage to $13 an hour during the next three years, with the first increase to $10 taking effect July 1.
Illinois' minimum wage is currently $8.25 an hour.
The Cook County sick-leave law requires businesses to provide one hour of sick leave per 40 hours of work, up to five days a year.
Harding said last year that the greater hardship for businesses -- particularly small businesses -- is the legal requirement to formally track employees' time, which can cause higher payroll costs.