Earlier today, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced the withdrawal of the U.S. Department of Labor’s informal guidance on joint employment and independent contractors issued during the Obama administration. The announcement states that the withdrawal does not “change the legal responsibilities of employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act” and that the DOL “will continue to fully and fairly enforce all laws within its jurisdiction.” We will keep you updated on any additional word from the DOL on these issues, but it appears that by withdrawing these guidelines, the new administration is taking a first step away from attempts of the Obama administration and the NLRB to expand concepts of joint employment.
With the July 1st effective date quickly approaching, more and more suburban communities are opting out of the Cook County minimum wage hike and paid sick leave requirements. Home Rule authority allows these local municipalities to opt out of and craft their own legislation to supersede the county legislation.
Nearly 40 municipalities have officially opted out or are expected to do so before the July 1st effective date, including: Arlington Heights, Barrington, Bedford Park, Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Elmwood Park, Glenview, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Oak Forest, Palatine, Palos Park, River Forest, Rolling Meadows, Rosemont, Schaumburg, Streamwood, Tinley Park, Western Springs, and Wheeling.
It’s important to note that even if an employee is based in a municipality that has “opted out,” if they are performing work in Chicago or a section of Cook County that hasn’t opted out, the employee may still have a right to some paid sick leave.
Before moving forward with changes to comply with these new Cook County requirements, make sure to check where your municipality stands.