On July 31, Gov. Pritzker signed into law an amendment to the Illinois Equal Pay Act that bans employers and employment agencies from asking about applicants’ past wage and compensation histories or using such information to screen candidates for a job. The new law takes effect on Sept. 29, 2019. Employers who violate these new provisions can be liable for a combination of up to $10,000 in special damages; compensatory damages, to the extent they exceed an award of special damages; and reimbursement of the plaintiff’s costs and attorneys’ fees. The prohibition does not apply if a job applicant’s salary history is a matter of public record or if the applicant is a current employee applying with the same employer.
NOTE: Counties should immediately review their employment applications to make sure they do not ask for salary and wage history.