Cook County Paid Sick Leave Gets Barrington Asterisk

Here’s a new one. A paid sick leave patchwork within a paid sick leave patch! Well, why not?

In October 2016, Cook County passed its Earned Sick Leave Ordinance, which goes into effect on July 1, 2017. Cook County, the second most populous county in the nation, has within it about 130 municipalities, one of which is the Village of Barrington, a village of about 10,000 residents. Last week, Barrington passed an ordinance to negate the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance within Barrington’s boundaries. A report of that legislative action is here. As a result, any reference to Cook County’s being a PSL jurisdiction should have an “except for Barrington” asterisk.

Barrington’s ordinance recites that where there is a conflict between a county ordinance and a municipality ordinance, the latter shall prevail. It then proceeds to create a conflict with the Cook County ordinance, essentially negating it. The ordinance states, in pertinent part:barrington_seal__red__400x400-1

“No additional obligations with regard to paid sick leave, or minimum hourly wages, including without limitation, any additional obligations by ordinance adopted by the County of Cook Board of Commissioners, shall apply to employers located within the Village, except those required by federal and/or State laws and regulations as such laws and regulations may exist from time to time.”

That a Cook County municipality would enact an ordinance to create a conflict with the Cook County PSL law comes as no surprise. As I had posted earlier, during the 14 months prior to the October 5 ordinance vote, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office issued three opinion letters expressing its view that the county did not have authority to enact such an ordinance and that where there is a conflict between a county and municipality ordinance, the municipal ordinance prevails. A report then said that four municipalities were considering enacting legislation to conflict with the Cook County PSL ordinance, one of which was Barrington.

I suspect Barrington will not be the only municipality to opt out of the Cook County PSL ordinance. I suspect we will be adding more asterisks soon.