Chicago, IL – A proposed ordinance was introduced to the Cook County Board of Commissioners on June 29 that calls for a major regulation establishing mandatory “Employer Paid Sick Leave for Residents of Cook County”. This ordinance, if passed, will directly impact every single business within Cook County, regardless of size. The proposal is currently in the Finance Committee and will be called for a vote at the next Cook County Board Meeting on Wednesday, October 5.
As Commissioner of the suburban 17th District, Morrison has deep concern about the direct impact it will have on businesses in the 17th District. “As a small business owner myself, I can’t imagine how this government regulation would not place a greater financial burden on businesses. Moreover, the vast majority of the 17th District borders DuPage and Will counties and I can foresee this ordinance creating a competitive disadvantage for those Cook County businesses in proximity to the county border,” said Commissioner Morrison.
Commissioner Morrison also believes that this competitive disadvantage would also serve to hinder the extensive attempts by suburban communities to attract new businesses, create new economic development opportunities and grow jobs throughout suburban Cook County. For these reasons and several others is why Commissioner Morrison stated his firm opposition to this proposed regulation.
Many questions have been raised about this proposed regulation since its introduction earlier this summer. Is it legal for a local government body to apply a mandatory paid regulation to private companies? Why have all governmental bodies been excluded from this proposed ordinance? Does Cook County presume that government takes precedence over private employers? Will the proposed ordinance exempt companies that already offer PTO (Paid Time Off) to its employees? Or, will ‘Paid Sick Leave’ be in addition to existing PTO programs? Will it also apply to union employees working under a Collective Bargaining Agreement? If not, why?
“The meddling by Cook County to mandate the private sector’s pay requirements is a bridge too far. I cannot see how this passes any legal hurdles if challenged in court. This is another example of overreaching authority by the Cook County Board and bad public policy. If passed, it will certainly have further negative impact on our local economy” concluded Commissioner Morrison.