Illinois Wage History Ban

Effective September 29, 2019, Public Act 101-0177 amended the Illinois Equal Pay Act, imposing restrictions on recruiting, interviewing, and hiring for all employers in the state, including the University of Illinois System. It is generally unlawful to inquire about an applicant’s current or prior salary, benefits, or compensation during the search and hiring process.

This law aims to improve pay equality by restricting employer access to applicants’ historical compensation information, with narrow exceptions. A summary of provisions follows.

Unlawful to Seek Pay History

An employer MAY NOT seek the wage or salary history, including benefits or other compensation, of a job applicant from any current or former employer. This prohibition is waived ONLY if the applicant’s compensation history is a matter of public record, or if the applicant is a current employee and is applying for a position with the same current employer (in which case pay history would already be known to the employer).

An employer MAY provide information about a position – for example, “This position pays in the range of $45,000 to $50,000, does that meet your expectations and are you still interested?”

An employer MAY engage in a discussion about an applicant’s expectations with respect to salary and benefits – for example, “What compensation expectations do you have?”

An employer is not in violation if an applicant “voluntarily and without prompting” discloses their current or prior compensation information. However, the employer MAY NOT consider or rely on voluntary disclosures in making decisions related to hiring or compensation.

Unlawful to Screen Based on Pay History

An employer MAY NOT request or require an applicant to disclose wage or salary history as a condition of employment.

An employer MAY NOT screen applicants based on current or prior wages or salary histories, including benefits and other compensation. It is unlawful to require an applicant’s compensation history to satisfy minimum or maximum criteria.

An employer MAY NOT request or require wage or salary history as a condition of being considered for employment, as a condition of being interviewed, as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment, or as a condition of an offer of employment or an offer of compensation.

See the full text of the Illinois Equal Pay Act Wage History Ban. If you have any questions about these requirements, please contact your HR office.