One of the very last items at a marathon meeting of the Cook County Board, Commissioner Bridget Gainer introduced an ordinance (16-4229) mandating paid sick leave for county workers. That ordinance is in addition to one introduced byCommissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, which was light on details at the time it was introduced. Gainer said the differences between the two versions would be reconciled in committee. The preamble to Gainer’s ordinance estimates the additional operational cost to businesses to provide leave will be between 0.7 to 1.5 percent.
The ordinance applies to all employers, defined as “Any person employing one or more employees, or seeking to employ one or more employees: a. If the person has its principal place of business within Cook County; or b. Does business within Cook County.” Regulations don’t apply to federal or state employees, or employees “of any municipality in Cook County,” Indian tribes or corporations owned by Indian tribes. The ordinance is nearly a carbon copy of the city’s version of paid sick leave passed by Council earlier this month.