Advisory for 10/5/16: Workers to Expand Sick Time to Cook County

Workers Leap from Chicago to County Sick Time Legislation

Proposed ordinance would make Cook the largest county in the U.S. with paid sick days

Media Contact: Shelly Ruzicka, Arise Chicago

773-251-5003  /  shelly[at]arisechicago[dot]org  /  @AriseChicago

What: The Cook County Earned Sick Time coalition and county commissioners will announce proposed legislation to make Cook County the largest municipality in the U.S. with paid sick days legislation. Commissioners expect to vote the ordinance into law at Wednesday’s Board meeting.

Who: Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, County Commissioners Bridget Gainer (10th), Jesus Garcia (7th), low-wage workers who will benefit from the ordinance, religious leaders, Cook County Earned Sick Time Coalition including community, labor, and advocacy organizations.

When: Wednesday, October 5th at 9:15am

Where: 118 N. Clark Street, Cook County Building 5th floor  

Background: Coming off of the successful passage of a Chicago ordinance, the Cook County Earned Sick Time Coalition will expand the basic protection of paid sick time to workers across Cook County.

The Chicago ordinance passed after a three and half year campaign led by low-wage workers and supporting organizations.

The County ordinance is modeled after the Chicago legislation, which was formulated from recommendations by a task force made up of worker and business representatives. Heeding the call from businesses for common sense legislation, and from workers for the massive need to protect one’s own and the public’s health, County commissioners took speedy action. Passage of the ordinance will make Cook the largest county in the country to have such legislation, building on the growing national movement of state and municipal sick time laws.

The ordinance will cover 441,000workers outside of Chicago in Cook County. Importantly, many newly covered workers are in the service sector–industries frequently at risk for spreading contagious illnesses due to contact with larges numbers of people.

Once passed, the ordinance will provide with up to five paid sick days per year. LIke the city ordinance, workers would be able to earn 1 hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked.

Mirroring the Chicago ordinance, the county legislation will go into effect on July 1, 2017.

*Workers will be available for interview in English or Spanish


The Cook County Earned Sick Time Coalition is:

Arise Chicago, Chicago Federation of Labor, Restaurant Opportunities Center – Chicago, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881, Women Employed

Endorsers: AFSCME Council 31, Action Now, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308, American Friends Service Committee, Between Friends, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board of Workers United, Chicago Federation of Musicians, Chicago National Organization for Women, Chicago Religious Leadership Network, Chicago Teachers Union, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, Chicago Foundation for Women, Community Renewal Society, Coalition Against Workplace Sexual Violence, Council on American-Islamic Relations, EverThrive Illinois, Illinois Chapter-American Academy of Pediatrics, Illinois Education Association Region 67, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, Jobs with Justice-Chicago, Lambda Legal, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, NABET/CWA Local 41, National Council of Jewish Women –  IL State Policy Advocacy Network,, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Employment Lawyers Association – IL, National Nurses United, ONE Northside, ParentsWork, Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Raise the Floor, Rape Victim Advocates, Reclaim Chicago, SAG-AFTRA, SEIU Doctors Council, SEIU Local 1, SEIU Local 73, SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, SEIU State Council, Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation, Stagehands Local 2, Teamsters 743, Teamsters 777, United Steelworkers District 7, UNITE HERE Local 1, UNITE HERE Local 450, United Electrical Workers Western Region, Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago/Fight for Fifteen, Workers United, Zakat Foundation of America


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