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Local governments in Illinois can, and sometimes do, legislate their own rules for employers within their jurisdictions. For example, some municipalities have living-wage laws stipulating higher pay than the state’s minimum wage ($7.50 per hour as of July 1, 2007):

Cook County: County contractors must pay their workers $9.43 per hour if they provide health benefits, or $11.78 per hour if they don’t provide coverage.

Chicago: Chicago’s living-wage ordinance covers specific job titles of contractors and subcontractors doing business with the city. Specifically, security guards, parking attendants, day laborers, home and health care workers, cashiers, elevator operators, custodial workers and clerical workers must earn at least $10 per hour as of July 1, 2006. This figure is adjusted annually by using the federal poverty guidelines for a family of four and dividing that figure by 2000. The new living-wage rate is the higher of the federal-poverty-derived figure and the current living-wage rate.

In addition, persons employed by the city of Chicago may designate their registered same-sex domestic partners as beneficiaries for employer-provided benefits. This ordinance doesn’t apply to private employers in Chicago, only to the city itself. 
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Excerpted from Illinois’ 10 Most Critical Employment Laws, a special bonus report available to subscribers of HR Specialist: Illinois Employment Law.

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