Cook County Board Expands Paid Leave to Suburbs

CC Paid Leave

The Cook County Board unanimously approved a new paid leave mandate which applies to all suburban municipalities and takes effect Dec. 31.

The Board expanded on the state law which goes into effect on Jan. 1, requiring most employers to provide up to 40 hours of paid leave per year, accruing at one hour at a time for every 40 hours worked, or employers could front-load that time off. Cook County paid leave covers all workers, except state and federal employees, students working for their college, and short-term employees of colleges and universities for less than one consecutive calendar quarter. Airlines and employees of local governments not subject to a union contract are also covered. Workers will also have the right to take employers to court for violations.

While suburban municipalities may opt out, they would still be subject to the state law.

“We thank Commissioners Alma Anaya and Anthony Quezada for championing paid leave for workers throughout Cook County, and we thank the entire board for their unanimous support,” said SEIU Local 73 President Dian Palmer. “From Berwyn to Blue Island and Schaumburg to Chicago Heights, we believe workers of all races, backgrounds, and genders should have access to paid leave. Corporations continue to take the wealth our work creates while refusing to pay what they owe. No matter where we live or how much money we have in our pockets, we know how to come together when times are tough, just like we did to pass paid leave in Illinois and Chicago. By joining together across races, places, and genders we can continue to elect public officials who will work for all of us, not just the wealthy few. Contributing to COPE is the best way we can continue to win on workers’ rights issues.