New Law Bans Employers From Asking About Salary History

Jul 31, 2019

Illinois job seekers will no longer have to disclose their previous salary. Wednesday Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law a measure prohibiting employers from asking.

Employers will not be able to use salary history to determine how much to pay a new employee.

State Rep. Anna Moeller, a Democrat from Elgin said low salaries often follow people from job to job — especially women. The new law will help break that cycle. “Half of all households are led by a working mother, when her income is depressed, that translates to lower wages for her children and for her family’s," she said.

Under the measure, prospective employees can self-disclose a previous wage and negotiate wages — but a final salary can only be determined by skill or seniority. The law takes effect Sept. 29. 

During the signing, Pritzker called out the U.S. Soccer Federation which hasn’t paid four-time World Cup champion U.S. Women’s Soccer Team equal pay.

"Less than a block here sits the headquarters of the United States Soccer Federation, an organization that just this week defended a different kind of decision: to compensate its female players at lower rates than the men despite their substantially higher success rate – an act so questionable that the men’s team itself declared the justification inequitable and unfair,” he said.

“Here in Illinois, we know that women get the job done. It’s time to pay them accordingly.”

Former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the measure twice. He was concerned it would hurt businesses. But sponsors say they can educate business owners about the new provisions to avoid any confusion. 

At least 18 other states have passed similar laws.