Equal Pay Act bill signing

CHICAGO – State Senator Cristina Castro’s bill strengthening the Illinois Equal Pay Act and tackling the wage gap was signed into law today.

House Bill 834 prohibits employers from asking about salary histories when interviewing job applicants in an effort to reduce the effects of pay discrimination from past jobs.

“This new law addresses a wide range of people” said Castro (D-Elgin). “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 new law as a threat; it is the right thing to do.”

House Bill 834 goes into effect September 29, 2019.