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(WTTW News)

Chicago hit two firms — including global snack food giant Mondelez International — with $935,000 in back pay and fines for running afoul of the city’s sick leave law, as Mayor Lori Lightfoot vowed Thursday to step up efforts to protect workers.

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Labor activists join some public officials downtown for a rally in support of raising the minimum wage in August 2019. (WTTW News)

The nationwide Fight For $15 movement pushed the challenges facing Chicago’s lowest-paid workers — who are primarily Black and Latino — to the top of the agenda for city officials.

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The Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel (WTTW News)

Wage theft costs Chicago workers $400 million a year, according to the mayor’s office.

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Labor activists join some public officials downtown for a rally in support of raising the minimum wage in August 2019. (WTTW News)

The latest COVID-19 relief bill could come up for a vote in Congress as early as next week, but a key Democratic priority might be on the chopping block. We explore the potential impact of raising the minimum wage.

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President Joe Biden signs a series of executive orders on health care, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

The Democratic push to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour has emerged as an early flashpoint in the fight for a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, testing President Joe Biden’s ability to bridge Washington’s partisan divides as he pursues his first major legislative victory.

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(Robert-Owen-Wahl / Pixabay)

Illinois’ minimum wage increased from $9.25 to $10 in July, despite a request from business owners to delay the hike during a pandemic. But for employers whose take-home pay is largely dependent on tips, the minimum wage is $6.

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(Adam Jones / Flickr)

July 1 marks the start of Illinois’ new fiscal year, which ushers in a bushel of new laws. Here are a handful that may come in handy.

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(WTTW News)

Most Chicago workers who earn the minimum wage will see their paychecks rise — and get more notice before they are expected to clock in for a shift, as two of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s top priorities take effect this week.

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(Robert-Owen-Wahl / Pixabay)

Should tipped workers make the same minimum wage as non-tipped workers? We discuss the pros and cons of a pending ordinance in City Council that would raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021 – including for those who earn tips.

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According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, workers in food preparation and serving-related occupations made up the bulk of workers earning minimum wage or less in 2013, the Pew Research Center reports. (delo / Pixabay)

At a City Council hearing on Tuesday, committee members discussed a proposal to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021. Activists say it’s long overdue. But could it hurt small businesses? We debate the issue.

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Labor activists join some public officials downtown for a rally in support of raising the minimum wage in August 2019. (WTTW News)

Chicago has seen its minimum wage steadily rise in the last several years, from a hourly rate of $8.25 in 2014 to $13 today. But labor activists and some public officials say it’s not nearly enough.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker, right, congratulates state Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, left, on the House floor at the Illinois State Capitol on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. (Justin L. Fowler / The State Journal-Register via AP)

Just a little over a month after becoming Illinois’ governor, J.B. Pritzker signed a law that stands to change the state’s economy by raising the minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 by 2025.

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Illinois state Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, testifies before the Labor and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 on his proposal to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2025. (AP Photo / John O’Connor)

Illinois legislators moved quickly Thursday to deliver one of new Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s top campaign promises, a gradual hike in the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour.

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In this Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 photo, Laquesha Russell, a 36-year-old home health care worker who makes $10.78 an hour, speaks during an interview as she shops for groceries for her four children in Springfield, Illinois. (AP Photo / John O’Connor)

Illinois is poised to join Washington, D.C., and at least four other states with a $15-an-hour minimum by 2025, an 82-percent spike in current base pay. But it may not be the momentous impact on low-wage workers that some supporters expected.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker gives his opening remarks along with state Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, left, on Senate Bill 1, a bill sponsored by Lightford to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, after it passed the Illinois Senate during a press conference in the governor’s office at the Illinois state Capitol, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. (Justin L. Fowler / The State Journal-Register via AP)

The Illinois Senate voted Thursday to hike the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour within six years, quickly advancing a top campaign promise of newly elected Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

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(nosheep / Pixabay)

For the first time since taking full control of Illinois government, Democrats in Springfield are poised to flex their political muscles by quickly passing a statewide hike in the minimum wage.