Commission on Human Rights

med-level alert: Cook County passes Paid Leave Ordinance, replaces Earned Sick Leave

12/14/2023 - Cook County Board shifted Earned Sick Leave to Paid Leave. 2/1/2024 - Enforcement Began.

The mission of the Cook County Commission on Human Rights is:

(1) To protect people in Cook County from discrimination and harassment in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, credit transactions, and access to Cook County facilities, services and programs, and

(2) To ensure that those who work in, or for the benefit of, Cook County are paid an appropriate wage for their labors and receive appropriate benefits.

The Commission pursues its mission through the enforcement of these County ordinances:

    The Cook County Human Rights Ordinance prohibits people in Cook County from unlawfully discriminating against or harassing other people. 

    It is prohibited to discriminate or harass on the basis of a person's race, traits associated with a person's race (including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective styles) color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military discharge status, source of income (including use of a Housing Choice Voucher), housing status, gender identity, criminal history, bodily autonomy, pregnancy status, ethnicity, and caste.

    The Cook County Minimum Wage Ordinance requires that all employers with employees in Cook County pay those employees not less than a minimum wage as determined annually by law.

    Beginning July 1, 2024, the minimum wage in Cook County will increase to $14.05 per hour. The base wage for tipped employees will remain $8.40 per hour. 

    The Cook County Paid Leave Ordinance requires that all employers with employees in Cook County provide those employees with paid leave. 

    Beginning December 31, 2023, employees in Cook County can earn at least one (1) hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked

    The Cook County Living Wage Ordinance requires that all employees who contract with Cook County government to provide labor or who operate on property in Cook County that receives a Class 6B, Class 8 or Class 9 property tax incentive pay their employees not less than a living wage as determined annually by Cook County's Chief Financial Officer.

    As of 2024, the living wage is $15.00 per hour with employer-provided healthcare benefits, and $18.75 per hour without. 

    The COVID-19 Vaccination Rights for Employees and Employer Obligations Ordinance went into effect on July 1, 2021. Employers cannot require workers to get vaccinated outside of work hours. If an employer requires employees to be vaccinated and a COVID-19 vaccine appointment is during an employee's shift, the employee is to be compensated up to four hours per dose. If an employer does not require employees to be vaccinated, employees can use paid leave to get vaccinated.

    The Commission on Human Rights enforces these ordinances through investigating and mediating complaints made by members of the public, which may result in compensatory damages and other relief.

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    Location Title
    Intake interviews are by appointment only, please call or email to make an intake appointment.
    Location Phone
    Location Fax
    Location Hours
    Sunday: Closed
    Monday: 8:30 am-4:30 pm
    Tuesday: 8:30 am-4:30 pm
    Wednesday: 8:30 am-4:30 pm
    Thursday: 8:30 am-4:30 pm
    Friday: 8:30 am-4:30 pm
    Saturday: Closed

    Agency Head

    Jennifer King, Director