Wheeling opts out of county minimum wage, sick-leave ordinances

Wheeling has opted out of Cook County ordinances raising the minimum wage and requiring employers to provide sick-leave days.

The village board unanimously approved the decision to opt out last week, joining a growing list of Northwest suburbs that includes Rolling Meadows, Barrington, Mount Prospect, Schaumburg, Rosemont and Elk Grove Village.

Under the county ordinance, the minimum wage gradually will increase to $13 an hour over the next three years. The state's current minimum wage is $8.25 an hour.

Another ordinance requires employers to provide one hour of sick leave per 40 hours of work. Both ordinances take effect July 1.

Local business owners spoke out against the proposed wage hike at the village board meeting last week, warning the changes could hurt job growth and force companies to move to nearby Lake County.

Village President Dean Argiris said adopting the county ordinances would create unfair competition between local businesses and employers in collar counties.

"It is our firm belief that these issues should be mandated through federal and state legislation, not the county," Argiris said.

Illinois Democrats are pushing a proposal to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next five years. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner already signaled his opposition to an increase.

Illinois Democrats aim high with minimum wage proposals

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.