Last week, the Cook County Commission on Human Rights released its final set of procedural rules governing the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance. In the proposed draft of the rules the Commission appeared to include school districts as covered employers subject to the ordinance’s new obligations and regulations. However, at the conclusion of the public comment period in late May, the Commission published a set of revised, final rules which state that, “the Commission also includes school districts within its definition of exempt government employers.” Accordingly, school districts in Cook County will not be required to abide by any of the ordinance’s new rules regarding sick leave. Illinois school districts remain subject to sick leave rules as provided in the Illinois School Code and the Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act, which took effect January 1, 2017.
The Cook County Minimum Wage Ordinance, which passed last year alongside the County’s Earned Sick Leave Ordinance and goes into effect July 1, applies to the payment of wages by a Covered Employer to a Covered Employee for work that is performed while the Covered Employee is physically present within the geographic boundaries of Cook County with certain geographic exceptions. The final rules issued by the Cook County Human Rights Commission exempt school districts from the definition of a Covered Employer by including them in the definition of Government Employer. Illinois school districts continue to be governed by the minimum wage requirements of the Illinois Minimum Wage Law and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
You can view the final draft of the minimum wage ordinance’s implementing rules here.