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Mayor Rahm Emanuel today published regulations and kicked off a series of workshops designed to educate Chicago’s workforce about the increase to a $10 local minimum wage that goes into effect on July 1, 2015. To ensure that workers know about their rights in the workplace, the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) will host a series of information sessions throughout the city to prepare businesses and workers for the first minimum wage increase for Chicago workers since 2010. The minimum wage ordinance regulations can be found HERE.
“On July 1st, more than 200,000 workers in the City of Chicago will receive a much needed raise, an essential step in making sure that hard work pays off. If you work hard in the City of Chicago, you should be able to afford to live here and raise your children here,” said Mayor Emanuel. “As a City, we must also continue to do our part to ensure that workers understand their rights and business owners understand their responsibilities in implementing this important law so that every hard working resident in the City of Chicago has a chance to succeed.”
Beginning today, BACP will make available on their website the promulgated regulations and other informational materials, including a Notice to Employers and Employees, which business owners are required to display at their business. In addition to the public workshops, the City will be launching an outreach campaign, including information in its monthly business and consumer newsletters, alerts through the BACP homepage, direct mailings, and social media updates. BACP will also hold a workshop for business owners to learn more about the increase in the city’s minimum wage on Wednesday, July 8th from 3:00PM to 4:30PM at City Hall, 121 North LaSalle Street, Room 805.
“In just a few weeks, hundreds of thousands of hard-working Chicago residents will receive a raise and be better able to keep their families out of poverty. It is important that those workers also understand their rights, are being paid that higher wage, and can contribute to the continued growth of Chicago’s economy,” said John Bouman, President, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.
“When Chicago’s new minimum wage increase takes effect, it will have a lasting impact on more than 200,000 Chicago residents immediately, and more than double that by the time the wage reaches $13 per hour in 2019. This is important for our local economy and for the workers whose lives will be positively impacted by this law,” said Alderman Will Burns (4th), co-Chairman of the Mayor’s Minimum Wage Working Group.
In December 2014, City Council passed the Mayor’s ordinance to raise the minimum wage for all Chicago workers to $13 per hour by 2019. The ordinance raised the minimum wage in steps, starting with an increase to a $10 minimum wage on July 1, 2015. The minimum increases to $10.50 in 2016, $11in 2017, $12 in 2018, and to a final minimum wage of $13 by 2019. Over five years, it 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.
On September 2, 2014, Mayor Emanuel took the first step toward an increased minimum wage citywide and signed an Executive Order requiring all City of Chicago contractors and subcontractors pay their employees a minimum of $13 per hour for work performed under a City contract. On September 30, the Mayor Emanuel requested that all City of Chicago sister agencies join him in this effort.
Throughout his career, Mayor Emanuel has fought for working families to ensure that everyone has a fair shot at the middle class, helping to pass the last two federal minimum wage increases. As chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 elections, then-Congressman Emanuel made a federal minimum wage increase part of the Democrats’ “100-hour Plan” of legislation to be enacted within the first 100 hours of a Democratic Congress. As Democratic Caucus Chairman in the 110th Congress, Mayor Emanuel worked with Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 out of the House within the first week of the new Democratic majority. This bill increased the minimum wage by 40 percent, from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour, the first increase in more than a decade.