A state new law that affects employers and workers takes effect Sunday: the “No Salary History Law,” which bars employers from asking prospective hires about what they made at previous jobs.
Women’s advocacy groups have hailed the bill as a major advance for gender pay equity, arguing that using past wages as a base for salary offers is a major contributing factor to persistent pay gaps. “The hiring process serves one purpose and one purpose alone: Finding the best person for the job at hand. It’s no longer acceptable to wring quality work out of capable women at a discounted rate,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at the bill signing in July. His predecessor, Gov. Bruce Rauner, vetoed similar laws twice.
The law, HB 834, bars employers from screening job applicants based on current or past wages. Bosses can no longer mandate wage disclosure as a prerequisite for being considered or hired for a job. The law also changes discrimination protections to say employers cannot pay women and African-American employees less for “substantially similar work” — deleting the word “equal.”