Isaac Reichman firstname.lastname@example.org (O) 312.744.5365 (C) 312.805.9385
The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) announced today that Chicago’s minimum wage has increased to $13 an hour. Through a 2014 ordinance, the minimum wage has risen annually, helping over 400,000 of Chicago’s workers make ends meet.
Since 2014, the minimum wage has gone up from $8.25 to $13 today, an increase of 58 percent. Employers that maintain a business facility within the City of Chicago or are required to obtain a business license to operate in the City are required to pay their employees the minimum wage. Employees that work two hours in the City within the period of two weeks qualify for the minimum wage. This includes retail workers, domestic employees, home health care workers and others. Tipped employees are subject to a minimum wage of $6.40 as of today.
“Today, Chicago’s workers get a raise,” said BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareno. “No one should work a full-time job without fair compensation. The minimum wage ordinance means a stronger economy and healthier communities.”
To prepare Chicagoans for the minimum wage increase, BACP has provided advance notice to employers, employees and community groups and held a Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Workshop in June. Free to attend, the workshop provided business owners with information on who is affected by Chicago’s Labor Standards Laws and what is required to abide by Chicago’s minimum wage.
“We serve hundreds of Latina and immigrant survivors of gender-based violence, who strive to attain financial security and become economically independent so they may leave abusive situations.” said Linda X. Tortolero, President and CEO of Mujeres Latinas en Acción. “A higher minimum wage is a positive step forward - no one should work full time and have to live in poverty.”
BACP is reminding city employers that the minimum wage is enforceable, and employees to report any issues receiving their legal minimum wage. The best way to report a problem with wages, paid sick leave, or other issues with workers compensation is to call 3-1-1. The mandatory complaint form has been simplified to make it easier for residents to fill out so a problem can be fully investigated. Failure to return a completed form is the number one reason complaints go unresolved.
Employers are required to post a notice of the minimum wage and employee’s rights under the ordinance. Employers that violate the minimum wage ordinance can be fined $500 to $1,000 for each offense. To date, BACP has imposed $267,000 in penalties and earned over $300,000 in wage restitution to nearly 500 employees. Employers and businesses in need of more information should contact BACP directly at (312) 744-6060.
In addition to enforcing Chicago’s labor standards laws, BACP protects consumers from all types of fraud by resolving complaints and taking actions against fraudulent businesses. The most common cases involve home and motor vehicle repair, private booting and towing, car sales, apartment rentals and deceptive marketing. Informational materials can be found on BACP’s website, www.chicago.gov/bacp.