Cook County Proposal Seeks Fee On Big Businesses Paying ‘Poverty Wages’

Progress Illinois reports on an analysis by the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs that supports a measure proposed today by Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele. The measure would require  businesses with more than 750 employees who are paid less than $14.75 an hour, or $11.65 an hour with benefits, to pay a county fee of $750 for each $1 less than those amounts.  CUPPA’s Center for Urban Economic Development estimated that the proposal would generate up to $500 million over a four-year phase-in.

As much as $500 million could be generated by the proposal over its four-year phase-in period, according to an analysis by the Center for Urban Economic Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“At a time when it is getting harder and harder to find good-paying jobs, adults working full-time are being forced to take low-wage jobs to support their families. It’s tempting to believe that these jobs are being filled by teenagers working part-time, but the facts say different. It just isn’t fair that large companies aren’t paying their workers enough to meet their basic needs,” Steele said in a statement. “The Responsible Business Act is vital to ensure that companies that won’t pay their workers a living wage don’t force Cook County residents to pick up their tab. The act will improve the lives of thousands of families in Cook County while leveling the playing field for small businesses and growing our economy.”

Full Story from Progress »