Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele has introduced an ordinance to require any employer with at least 750 employees in Cook County to increase its starting wage to $13.75 by 2018.
This ordinance would create a chaotic patchwork of wage mandates throughout the state, as Illinois would have three different mandatory starting wage levels that employers will have to navigate. This would create extra administrative burdens and costs and limit employee flexibility.
This mandate also puts the franchise model at great risk. The proposed ordinance would require franchisors which employ at least 750 employees, or whose franchisees collectively employ at least 750 employees, to pay the required wage mandate. This mandate would put these small business owners at a severe competitive disadvantage with their peers.