SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is thrilled that the Illinois law she authored to prohibit employers from asking about applicants’ salary history is now in full effect.

“This law is a significant step in eliminating the pay gap for women and other groups that face wage discrimination,” Castro said. “It means that lower pay can no longer follow people from job to job.”

The new law prohibits employers from asking about salary histories when interviewing job applicants or making job offers.

“From now on, initial salary offers will have to reflect how much a company values a potential worker,” Castro added. “If your previous employer was racist, or sexist, or paid you less because you got your first job at the height of the Great Recession, it won’t matter. The only thing that will matter are the skills and experience that you bring to the table.”

Until Sept. 29, employers could – and often did – consider salary history when making hiring decisions and salary offers. This system perpetuated wage inequality, especially since women, on average, earn less than men for similar work. It has also been found that women of color earn even less than white women when compared to men.

Gov. Pritzker signed HB 834 on July 31. The statute gave employers 60 days to adjust their practices. Businesses that violate the law and ask potential applicants or their previous employers for salary information now face potential civil penalties.

Nothing in the law prohibits job applicants from voluntarily disclosing their current salaries for the purpose of negotiating, nor does it prohibit employers from using publicly available salary information, such as the wage data available on the Illinois comptroller’s website.

Category: News

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