Illinois Equal Pay 2019 Update – What You Need To Know

There are some major changes coming to the Illinois Equal Pay Act of 2013. On September 29, 2019, changes will be made that strengthen existing laws regarding equal pay, as well as increase protections against pay discrimination, and a new restriction for employers will be introduced. Some of the changes that will be made include the following:

  • Compensation Discrimination Amendments: Employers must compensate employees equally, without regard to sex or race, where they perform substantially similar work the performance of which requires substantially similar skill, effort and responsibility. The change from the original equal skill to substantially similar skill broadens the bills general application.
  • Anti-retaliation Amendments: Employers may not restrain or retaliate against employees who discuss their own wages or the wages of other employees, or who encourage colleagues to do so. Employees – such as such as HR staff, supervisors, managers, etc – who have access to other employee’s pay rates cannot disclose that information without consent from the employee in question.
  • Salary History Ban: Employers, and any agents acting on their behalf, may not request or require applicants to disclose salary history information as a condition of employment. Employers cannot use a potential candidate’s current or former employers to acquire their salary history either. If an applicant voluntarily (or without prompting) offers their salary history, the potential employer will not be in violation of the law, so long as that information does not affect the determining of their wages.

There are many things that employers can do to prepare for these changes. To start, a full review of all applications and hiring documents should help identify any verbiage that might not comply with the new laws. Any references or questions about an applicant’s pay history should be removed. An analysis of how different roles in the company are compensated would also help avoid any discrepancies.  Employers should also retrain managerial and supervisory teams to make sure they understand the new laws and how to comply with them.

Changes in employment laws can be difficult to implement, but you do not have to do it alone! XCEL has human resource experts with the experience and knowledge necessary to get on the right track. Reach out today to see how we can help!