CHICAGO - As if paying an outrageous portion of Cook County's property tax load weren't burdensome enough, Cook County's Board of Commissioners are preparing to require businesses within their borders to provide 40 hours of mandatory sick pay for their full- and part-time employees or face fines.
Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison is pleading for business owners and those opposed to bigger and more demanding government regulations to attend and voice their opionions at the Board Finance Committee's session next Wednesday, October 6 at 10:00 am at the County Building.
"This will directly impact employers' financial bottom line, aside from the fact that it is illegal and beyond the standing or authority for the Democrat-controlled Cook County Board to do so. They are determined to move it ahead, regardless," Morrison said Friday. "So local government would be regulating and mandating how fiscal benefits are to be paid in private sector businesses."
As the proposal is currently written and being considered, employers would be required to provide paid sick days for all employees, both full- and part-time. The provision reads, "Any covered employee who works at least 80 hours for an Employer within any 120-day period shall be eligible for Paid Sick Leave as provided under this section", which equates to a minimum of five hours per week for an employee to qualify for Paid Sick Leave.
"As a small business owner myself, I can't imagine how this government mandate would not place a greater financial burden on businesses," Morrison said. "Moreover, I can foresee this ordinance creating a competitive disadvantage for those Cook County businesses in proximity to the county border."
Morrison continued, "I also believe that this competitive disadvantage would also serve to hinder the extensive attempts to attract new businesses and create new economic development opportunities for municipalities. For these reasons and several others, I am firmly opposed to this proposed ordinance."
Morrison suggests local mayors and village managers, as well as businesses and chambers of commerce, pay attention to the proposal and organize to let the Board member know where they stand on the proposal.
The measure will be considered next Wednesday and will be the "only chance to defeat this ordinance," Morrison said.
The eight-page proposal: Download Earned Sick Leave - Cook County Ordinance 9.29.16