Just a few weeks ago, Illinois’ Cook County adopted a paid sick leave law almost identical to that which is in place in the City of Chicago – one hour leave for every 40 hours worked.  This week, the Cook County Board again followed the lead of the Windy City when they mandated a $13 per hour minimum wage by July 2020.  Chicago adopted a $13 an hour minimum back in 2014 with the wage gradually increasing to $13 by July 1, 2019. Elsewhere, a federal judge in Alabama heard arguments yesterday on a challenge to a state law preempting local communities from establishing their own local minimum wage.  The city of Birmingham passed a minimum wage law, after which the state legislature enacted the preemption, thereby nullifying the Birmingham ordinance.  The suit, of which we advised you in April, contends that the preemption was the result of “racial animus” and thereby violates the US Constitution’s equal protection clause.  Alabama, which has no minimum wage, has asked the court to dismiss the challenge.  In Nevada, the state Supreme Court ruled on the application of the two-tiered minimum wage process authorized by the voters back in 2006.  Nevada law provides a minimum of $8.25 per hour, but drops that minimum to $7.25 if the employer offers health insurance to its workers.  Plaintiffs unsuccessfully argued that employees must be enrolled in health insurance coverage for the lower wage to be applicable.  In another case, the Nevada court ruled that a two year statute of limitations applies to allegations of underpayment of the minimum wage, rather than the four-year timeframe that the plaintiffs alleged. And, just so you don’t think the notion of minimum wage hikes, regardless of the value of an employee’s skill set, is a uniquely American phenomenon, we noted this article from the Bangkok Post in Thailand last week.  I don’t know how big or small the increase of 5 to 10 baht in the daily minimum wage is, but I did recognize labor activists as the common denominator!