Evanston’s Human Services Committee voted Monday to increase the minimum wage to $16.25 for large employers, but retreated from efforts to eliminate the lower tipped wage.

Ald. Devon Reid (8th), the sponsor of the measure, withdrew the tipped wage provision when it appeared the idea lacked sufficient City Council support to win adoption.

But Reid said he was confident that proposals under consideration in Chicago and Cook County to phase out the tipped-wage loophole will soon win approval.

That would eliminate the major point of resistance for other council members — that adopting the measure only in the City of Evanston would put local restaurants at a big competitive disadvantage against dining spots in nearby communities.

If the modified ordinance is adopted, here’s how wage rates would change over the next two years.

Non-tipped minimum wage

Effective [1]IllinoisCook CountyChicago [2]Evanston [3]
2024 [4]$14.00$14.05$16.25$16.25 [proposed]
2025 [4]$15.00$15.00$16.70$16.70 [proposed]
1 – The state minimum wage resets on Jan. 1. The Cook County, Chicago and the proposed Evanston minimum wages reset on July 1.
2 – The Chicago minimum wage shown applies to businesses with 21 or more workers. The minimum is $0.80 less for firms with 4 to 20 employees.
3 – The proposed Evanston rates shown, effective starting in 2024, would apply to businesses 51 or more employees. The minimum would be $0.75 less for firms with 4 to 50 employees.
4 – County, Chicago and proposed Evanston ordinances provide an an annual CPI-based increase capped at 2.5% and rounded up to the nearest $0.05. Figures shown assume a 2.5% increase. The county and proposed Evanston ordinances also provide for instead using the state or federal minimums, if they are higher.

The minimum wage hike proposal now goes to the full City Council for action.

If Cook County does act to eliminate the tipped wage, Evanston would need to add that provision to its ordinance to have the new rule apply here.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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