Some Suburbs Plan Exemptions From Cook County Sick Leave Mandate

CHICAGO (CBS) — Several Cook County suburbs have begun pushing back against the county’s newly-approved paid sick leave ordinance.

The sick leave mandate approved by the Cook County Board last week goes into effect July 1, allowing most employees to earn an hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked, up to five days a year, unless an employer sets a higher limit.

Palatine Village Manager Reid Ottesen said the village board will soon approve a resolution exempting local employers from the county ordinance.

“This is just one more burden that I see a level of government placing on a business, which is going to start driving decisions to either relocate out, or for other businesses to say ‘Why would I locate in your town when I could go right across the road and avoid some of these extra burdens?’” he said.

Ottesen said the Greater Palatine Chamber of Commerce also opposed the sick leave ordinance.

“They feel it’s unfair for the existing businesses, and are concerned about the impact for the new businesses that they might be out trying to facilitate coming to our community as well,” he said.

Barrington, Roselle, and Mount Prospect also plan to enact resolutions exempting them from the county ordinance.

Supporters of the sick leave mandate said employers should want to enact sick days to attract the best employees.

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