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Salary History Question Could Soon Be A Thing Of The Past

Amtec Photos- Flickr: CC BY-SA 2.0
A measure in Illinois could soon ban employers from asking about salary history during job interviews. Lawmakers approved the plan and it is now on Governor J-B Pritzker's desk awaiting his signature.

Illinois job seekers might soon avoid disclosing how much money they made in a previous job. 

Advocates say salary history is not indicative of skill-set and therefore, should not be used in the selection process. Lawmakers earlier this year agreed to ban the question during job interviews or applications.

Wendy Pollack, founder and director of the Women's Law and Policy Initiative with the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, said low wages could follow a person from job to job.

“We know that this is something that really hurts particularly women and people of color because they tend to have lower wages,” she said. “And we want to avoid that because we don’t want to continue perpetuating this wage discrimination.”

Pollack said employers could still use seniority or experience to help determine a final salary. Under the plan, job applicants are allowed to self-disclose any salary information and employers would not be penalized. 

“However, they (employers) can’t then use that salary as the basis for whether or not they offer an interview, or the job, or in calculating the wage.”

This isn’t the first time the plan has been considered. Former Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, vetoed it twice. He argued the plan would hurt employers. 

Democratic Gov. J.B Pritzker has until the beginning of August to sign the measure into law. 

Daisy reported on statehouse issues for our Illinois Issues project. She's a Public Affairs Reporting program graduate from the University of Illinois Springfield. She also graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and has an associates degrees from Truman College. Daisy is from Chicago where she attended Lane Tech High School.
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