Buffalo Grove opts out of Cook County minimum wage law

Updated 5/16/2017 7:02 PM

There was no fanfare and almost no discussion as Buffalo Grove trustees voted Monday to opt out of Cook County's minimum-wage and sick leave requirements.

The item was originally included on the consent agenda, but Trustee Jeffrey Berman had the item pulled off for public discussion, although it had been previously discussed at a committee of the whole meeting. The village opted out of the county requirements, which would mandate increases in the minimum wage for businesses and require sick leave based on length of service.


Community Development Director Christopher Stilling said the requirements would create problems for Buffalo Grove because the village is in two counties, Cook and Lake, and is surrounded by communities that already have chosen to opt out.

He said the majority of Buffalo Grove's businesses are in the Lake County portion of the village, and many of the Cook County businesses are near similar businesses in Lake, which could create a competitive disadvantage.

Berman said the issue must be addressed at the federal or state level so there is uniformity, rather than regulatory conflicts that pit one business against another on an unlevel playing field.

"The issue before the board ... has very little to do with the merits of the arguments made by those who are advocating for or against higher minimum-wages or other forms of mandated employee benefits," he said, adding that "the piecemeal mandates imposed by the Cook ordinances, if allowed to take effect in Buffalo Grove, would place certain of our local businesses at a competitive disadvantage, as compared with other businesses located in our own community."

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