On July 31, 2019, Illinois enacted a new law that prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their past salaries or using past pay information to screen applicants for employment consideration. Employers in Illinois should become familiar with the new law, ensure that their job applications do not ask about salary history, and adjust any other hiring procedures as necessary to ensure compliance.

HIGHLIGHTS: EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 29, 2019

  • Employers are prohibited from screening applicants based on their current or prior wages or salary histories, including benefits or other compensation
  • Employers may not request or require wage or salary history from an applicant as a condition of employment, being considered for employment, or an offer of compensation
  • Employers may not seek an applicant’s wage or salary history from any current or former employer (unless the applicant is a current employee or the information is part of the public record under state or federal law)
  • Employers may not consider or rely on past pay information (even if it has been voluntarily disclosed by an applicant) as a factor in determining whether to offer employment to the applicant, how much to offer the applicant for employment or how to compensate the applicant in the future

ENFORCEMENTS

Individuals who believe an employer has violated the new law may file a civil lawsuit against the employer within five years of the violation. If a court finds that an employer has violated the law, it may order the employer to pay special damages of up to $10,000 plus the plaintiff’s actual damages, costs, and reasonable
attorney’s fees. Employers that violate the new law may also be subject to injunctions and civil penalties of up
to $5,000 per violation.

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