A measure aimed to bridge the gender wage gap was approved by the Illinois General Assembly last month. This is the second attempt by lawmakers to get a ‘no salary history’ initiative into law. Employers would no longer be able to ask someone what they previously earned during interviews.
Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a similar measure last year. The latest version still keeps prior salary out of the interview process but tries to address concerns from business owners who are worried about their bottom line.
Wendy Pollack, founder and director of the Women’s Law and Policy Initiative at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, said no law is perfect and hopes Rauner acknowledges it’s a good starting point. “On other bills that I’ve worked on in the past, we’ve come back after a few years to see how it’s working out: what works for workers, what works for business,” she said. “And we have amended them along the way. So we’re not closing the door on that.”
Pollack said asking about prior wage history perpetuates the low salaries women often have early in their careers. “We just need to put an end to it. This is one of the progressive steps that we can take to try to close the wage gap,” she said.
Both the Senate and House approved the measure.
Still - some opponents say it would mean more expenses for employers. If Rauner signs the measure this year, Illinois would join the likes of California and Delaware, who already ban the question.