The Illinois Senate voted to approve legislation strengthening the Illinois Equal Pay Act.
House Bill 834 would prohibit employers from asking about salary histories when interviewing job applicants. The measure would reduce the effects of pay discrimination from past jobs.
“This legislation addresses a wide range of people” said Sen. Cristina Castro, D-Elgin, the sponsor. “Men and women of all ages and backgrounds should have an equal chance to succeed, and that is what I will continue to fight for as a member of this General Assembly.”
Employers can currently consider salary history when making hiring decisions and salary offers. This perpetuates wage inequality, especially since women, on average, earn less than men for similar work. It has also been found that women of color earn even less than white women when compared to men.
“I don’t believe that all employers consciously discriminate, but they need to become aware of this issue,” said Castro. “Many employers tend to set salaries for new hires using their previous salary rather than basing it off of the applicant’s worth to the company. Businesses shouldn’t see this legislation as a threat; it is the right thing to do.”
House Bill 834 passed the Senate and will now return to the House.