Arlington Heights Residents to Rally to Defend
Paid Sick Days and Minimum Wage
Demand Village Board maintain Arlington Heights as a healthy, thriving community
Shelly Ruzicka, Arise Chicago
Arlington Heights, Illinois, a thriving northwest suburb, is threatening to take away basic employment rights from workers within its municipal limits. Workers in the very restaurants and stores that make Arlington Heights a suburban dining and shopping destination may be denied the basic right to stay home when ill–thereby forcing workers to chose between going to work and serving customers while sick, or staying home to recover but losing a day’s pay. And that pay may be lower than Cook County law stipulates, starting July 1, 2017
Arlington Heights mayor Tom Hayes was recently quoted in the Chicago Sun Times as moving to take away county paid sick days and minimum wage rights because “businesses are asking us to opt out.”
However, a vast majority of Arlington Heights residents favor paid sick days and a higher minimum wage, voting in clear support in of both policies in recent referenda:
- 75% of Arlington Heights voters supported paid sick days at the state level in the November 8, 2016 general election non-binding ballot referendum
- 65% of Arlington Heights voters supported a higher state minimum wage in the November 2014 gubernatorial election non-binding ballot referendum
What: Arlington Heights voters, families, workers, and religious leaders who make up the Arlington Heights Working Families Committee will rally and hold a press conference outside Village Hall, then enter the Board meeting to testify in support of county paid sick days and minimum wage.
Where: Arlington Heights Village Hall, 33 S. Arlington Heights Road
When: Monday March 20th 7:40 pm press conference; 8pm Village Board meeting
Who: Arlington Heights Working Families Committee: local voters, families, workers, and religious leaders; members of local Indivisible chapters; Arise Chicago (which helped pass county paid sick days); The People’s Lobby (which passed county minimum wage)
Visuals: Committee members rallying with colorful signs and giant thermometers at 75%
Cook County passed a Paid Sick Days Ordinance on October 5, 2016 becoming the largest county in the U.S. with such legislation; and a Minimum Wage Ordinance on October 26, 2016, joining the growing national movement for local employment legislation. Both ordinances will go into effect on July 1, 2017.
While Arlington Heights is threatening to act against the will of its voters, other municipalities have listened to residents and protected the provisions. Suburban La Grange voters who also overwhelmingly support paid sick days and the minimum wage, won a significant victory this week, saving both policies in their southwest village after voicing their support to the Village Board.
Modeling La Grange, Arlington Heights residents have formed a local Working Families Committee to keep paid sick days and the county minimum wage. The committee will rally at Village Hall before attending the board meeting to testify in support of both policies.
Arlington Heights residents and voters will be available for interview.
Contact Shelly Ruzicka to arrange interviews.