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  • Megann Horstead

Village looks closely at Cook County’s new rules, focuses on businesses’ benefits

To protect the economic viability of Tinley Park, Village officials are opting out of requirements imposed by Cook County adopting new rules for sick leave and minimum wage, while adhering to state and federal laws.

At the Jan. 17 regular village board meeting, Board of Trustees unanimously voted to enact a set of village ordinances governing area businesses. A second reading for this measure was waived, allowing for a change in municipal code to take effect upon approval by the board of trustees.

“One of our challenges is part of our community is in Will County and Will County has a much more favorable climate for businesses in terms of property taxes,” said Village Manager David Niemeyer. “The property tax base puts businesses in Cook County at a disadvantage.”

In October 2016, Cook County adopted the “Earned Sick Leave” Ordiance. The ordinance—which takes after the city of Chicago’s effort allows employees to earn an hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked. Employees have the opportunity to earn up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year, which equates to about five work days.

Using the county’s measure, employees are to see an increase in minimum wage, $10 by July 1 and $13 by 2019.

These measures will prevent the Village’s businesses from operating under two different sets of rules—one for which provides governance for owners in Will County and another for located in Cook.

Like a number of other municipalities in Cook County, Tinley Park is opting out of the new requirements. Barrington, Oak Forest and Rosemont have also followed Tinley’s suit.

Village officials discussed this matter at a committee level in November 2016.

Niemeyer said the board’s action at the regular meeting shows their commitment to area businesses.

“Businesses are very important to our taxpayers,” he said. “They’re a very pro-business board. We’re one of the leading business communities in the southwest suburbs.”

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