Minimum Wage Increase and Fair Workweek Changes Go Into Effect July 1, 2023
Chicago’s labor laws reflect commitment to creating economic prosperity for all workers; City-awarded grant will help ensure Chicago’s labor protections reach most vulnerable workers
CHICAGO — Today, Mayor Brandon Johnson and the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), announced the annual scheduled increase in Chicago’s minimum wage and a scheduled enhancement of the Fair Workweek Ordinance requirements. Additionally, BACP has awarded Arise Chicago a $100,000 grant to conduct outreach and education on Chicago’s labor laws. Arise Chicago will work in partnership with the City to create resources for vulnerable workers. The scheduled changes support the vision of building an inclusive, prosperous city that values and supports its workforce. Information on Chicago’s labor laws can be found by visiting Chicago.gov/Labor Standards.
“Working people and working families of Chicago deserve to know that their wages will keep pace with inflation and that they can count on an increase in their paychecks every year,” said Mayor Johnson. “Additionally, the Fair Workweek Ordinance enhancements going into effect in July will ensure that tens of thousands of Chicagoans will have more predictable work schedules, giving them a better work-life balance. Thank you to the team at BACP for putting in great work to move this initiative forward.”
Every July 1, Chicago’s minimum wage increases per the Minimum Wage Ordinance. The Chicago minimum wage is tiered for large businesses with 21 or more employees, and small businesses with 4 to 20 employees. The minimum wage for larger employees increases annually according to the Consumer Price Index or 2.5%, whichever is lower. The minimum wage as of July 1, 2023, will be:
- $15.80 for employers with 21 or more employees (including all domestic workers, regardless of the number employed)
- $15.00 for employers with 4 to 20 employees
- The minimum wage for tipped employees will be $9.48 for employers with 21 or more employees, and $9.00 for employers with 4 to 20 employees (employers must make up the difference between any tips received and the applicable minimum wage for non-tipped workers.)
Additionally, on July 1, 2023, the Fair Workweek Ordinance will include updated compensation metrics. Employees will be covered by the ordinance if they work in one of seven “covered” industries (building services, healthcare, hotel, manufacturing, restaurant, retail, or warehouse services), earn less than or equal to $30.80/hour or earn less than or equal to $59,161.50/year, and the employer has at least 100 employees globally (250 employees and 30 locations if operating a restaurant). The Fair Workweek Ordinance requires certain employers to provide workers with predictable work schedules and compensation for changes.
Employers that maintain a business facility within the City of Chicago or that are required to obtain a business license to operate in the City are required to pay their employees at least the Chicago minimum wage. Additionally, any employee that works two hours or more in the City within a two-week period must also receive at least the Chicago minimum wage.
The Chicago minimum wage also applies to Subsidized Temporary Youth Employment Programs like those catering to Chicago’s youth looking for summer employment opportunities. Anyone age 24 or younger employed by or engaged in employment coordinated by a nonprofit organization or government agency will see a minimum wage increase to $13.50 on July 1, 2023. Eligible youth can find qualifying opportunities by visiting OneSummerChicago.org, which is a resource designed to help teens and young adults easily find employment and internship opportunities with government institutions, community-based organizations, and companies.
"Minimum wage and labor laws serve as a fundamental cornerstone of a just and equitable society,” said BACP Commissioner Kenneth J. Meyer. “We are committed to ensuring that no one is left behind in the pursuit of economic progress. Additionally, the outreach grant awarded will serve to connect with workers and raise awareness, fostering a brighter and more inclusive future for all."
"Chicagoans deserve to know that they can count on regular increases in their wages and predictable work schedules," said Ald. Michael D. Rodríguez, Chairperson of the Committee of Workforce Development. "I look forward to seeing additional scheduled increases to the minimum wage come into effect in the years to come and promise to continue to fight for better working conditions for all residents of our city."
“The burden of inflation that gets passed onto working people has not let up, and I am proud that this ordinance ensures that the minimum wage will continue to rise as long as the cost of living rises,” said CFL President Bob Reiter. “We fight for the highest standards for workers in Chicago. Setting a livable wage for the city’s workforce helps the people that make this city great get a chance to live, work, and play here too.”
BACP will host free informational webinars to prepare employers for the upcoming changes to Chicago’s Labor Standards Laws. The webinar, “Overview of Chicago’s Minimum Wage Ordinance, Including Annual Increase,” will take place Wednesday, June 14, at 3:00 p.m. The webinar will also be presented in Spanish on Thursday, June 15, at 10:00 a.m. To register for the webinars, visit Chicago.gov/BusinessEducation.
The BACP OLS webpage offers informational materials on Chicago’s Labor Standards Laws. Chicago businesses are required to post the Minimum Wage Public Notice and Fair Workweek Public Notice at their business. The notices will be available to workers and business owners in English, Spanish, Polish, Simplified Chinese, Tagalog, and Korean by July 1, 2023. Employers that violate the minimum wage ordinance can be fined $500 to $1,000 per day for each offense.
All Chicago worker protections are enforced by the BACP Office of Labor Standards (OLS). The OLS is dedicated to promoting and enforcing Chicago’s labor laws, including Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Leave, Fair Workweek, and Wage Theft Ordinance. In 2022, after opening 231 investigations regarding Chicago labor ordinance violations, the OLS secured over $690,000 in restitution for Chicago’s workers, as well as over $100,000 in fines to the City. To file a labor standards complaint, workers can use the CHI 311 system (call 3-1-1, use the CHI311 mobile app, or visit 311.chicago.gov) or complete a Complaint Form.
Additionally, Arise Chicago has been awarded a grant from BACP to conduct outreach and education on Chicago’s labor laws. By expanding outreach efforts in underserved communities, this $100,000 grant will increase access to the protections offered by the OLS and raise awareness about workers' rights. Arise Chicago will work in partnership with the City to create resources for vulnerable workers and the expectation is that workers will access rights guaranteed by Chicago’s landmark labor laws. Through its own outreach, OLS has hosted over 40 webinars with nearly 3,000 attendees since March 2020 and created informational materials in multiple languages, which can be found at Chicago.gov/LaborStandards.
"Arise Chicago has a long history of educating workers on their rights and how to enforce them,” said Rev. C.J. Hawking, Executive Director at Arise Chicago. “We are proud to continue that work in partnership with Mayor Johnson's administration and the OLS to ensure more workers across the city can uphold their rights on the job."
Arise Chicago, founded in 1991, is dedicated to building partnerships between faith communities and workers to fight workplace injustice through educating, organizing, and advocating for public policy changes. Through this grant, Arise Chicago will develop worker materials and conduct extensive outreach and trainings on workers’ rights, with a focus on the role of enforcement through the OLS. This information will be disseminated in culturally sensitive and trauma-informed ways to workers at the highest risk of exploitation with a focus on reaching the most vulnerable workers. In addition to providing information and education to workers, Arise Chicago will also screen for potential labor violations and assist workers in bringing complaints to the OLS, which will allow more workers to receive the protections granted by the Office.