IL Bans Salary History Inquiries

Labor & Employment Workforce Watch
October 2019
Following in the footsteps of numerous other states and localities, the Illinois legislature has amended the Illinois Equal Pay Act, effective September 29, 2019, to prohibit employers from inquiring about the wage or salary history of applicants for employment. The new law means that employers will not be able to seek wage or salary history from an applicant directly or from the applicant’s former employers. Employers can, however, ask an applicant about the salary he or she desires and can inform an applicant about the salary range for the position. If an applicant discloses his or her salary history without prompting, an employer cannot rely on that information in making a hiring decision or in setting the applicant’s salary upon hire. The Equal Pay Act amendments also make clear that employers cannot in any way restrain employees from discussing their wages amongst themselves. In light of this, employers will need to consider whether they need to make adjustments to their handbook policies or confidentiality agreements to ensure that confidentiality requirements cannot be interpreted as a restraint on employee wage disclosure.