August 25, 2017
To the Honorable
The Illinois House of
I veto House Bill 2462, which would prohibit employers from enquiring about
previous salary and compensation of prospective employees.
gender wage gap must be eliminated, and I strongly support wage equality.
Massachusetts already has established a best-in-the-country approach to the
issue of employers inquiring about salary history. Illinois should model its
legal regime on Massachusetts’ model.
strongly encourage the sponsors and the General Assembly at large to take up
the following legislative language that more closely resembles the
"Section 5. The Equal Pay Act of 2003 is
amended by changing Sections 10 and 30 and by adding Section 28 as follows:
(820 ILCS 112/10)
Sec. 10. Prohibited acts.
(a) No employer may discriminate between
employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to an employee at a rate less
than the rate at which the employer pays wages to another employee of the
opposite sex for the same or substantially similar work on jobs the performance
of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are
performed under similar working conditions, except where the payment is made
(1) a seniority
(2) a merit system;
(3) a system that
measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
(4) a differential
based on any other factor other than: (i) sex or (ii) a factor that would
constitute unlawful discrimination under the Illinois Human Rights Act.
An employer who is
paying wages in violation of this Act may not, to comply with this Act, reduce
the wages of any other employee.
Nothing in this Act
may be construed to require an employer to pay, to any employee at a workplace
in a particular county, wages that are equal to the wages paid by that employer
at a workplace in another county to employees in jobs the performance of which
requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under
similar working conditions.
(b) It is unlawful for
any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of or the
attempt to exercise any right provided under this Act. It is unlawful for any
employer to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any
individual for inquiring about, disclosing, comparing, or otherwise discussing
the employee's wages or the wages of any other employee, or aiding or
encouraging any person to exercise his or her rights under this Act. It is
unlawful for an employer to require an employee to sign a contract or waiver
that would prohibit the employee from disclosing or discussing the employee's
wage salary, or other compensation. However, an employer may prohibit a human
resources employee, a supervisor, or any other employee whose job
responsibilities require or allow access to other employees' wage
or other compensation information from disclosing such information without
prior written consent from the employee whose information is sought or
(b-5) It is unlawful
for an employer to seek the wage, salary, or other compensation history of a
prospective employee from the prospective employee or a current or former
employer or to require that a prospective employee's wage, salary, or other
compensation history meet certain criteria. This subsection does not apply if:
(1) the prospective
employee's wage, salary or other compensation history is a matter of public
(2) the prospective
employee is a current employee of the employer and is applying for a position
with the same employer; or
(3) a prospective
employee has voluntarily disclosed such information.
An employer may seek
or confirm a prospective employee's wage, salary, or other compensation history
after an offer of employment, with wage, salary, or other compensation, has
been negotiated and made to the prospective employee.
(c) It is unlawful
for any person to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any
individual because the individual:
(1) has filed any charge
or has instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to
(2) has given, or is
about to give, any information in connection with any inquiry or proceeding
relating to any right provided under this Act; or
(3) has testified, or
is about to testify, in any inquiry or proceeding relating to any right
provided under this Act; or
(4) fails to comply
with any wage history inquiry.
(820 ILCS 112/28 new)
(a) An employer
against whom an action is brought alleging a violation of subsection (a) of
Section 10 and who, within the previous 3 years and prior to the commencement
of the action, has completed a self-evaluation of the employer's pay practices
and can demonstrate that progress has been made towards eliminating wage
differentials based on gender for the same or substantially similar work on
jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility,
and which are performed under similar working conditions, in accordance with
that evaluation, shall have an affirmative defense to liability under
subsection (a) of Section 10. For purposes of this subsection, an employer's
self-evaluation may be of the employer's own design, so long as it is, in light
of the size of the employer reasonable in detail and scope.
A self-evaluation plan
may include but is not limited to the following components:
1) An evaluation of
the employer’s compensation system for internal equity;
2) An evaluation of
the employer’s compensation system for industry competitiveness;
3) Examination of the
employers’ compensation system and comparison of job grades or scores;
4) A review of data
for personnel entering the employer;
5) An assessment of
how raises are awarded; or
6) An evaluation of
employee training, development and promotion opportunities.
(b) An employer who
has completed a self-evaluation within the previous 3 years and prior to the
commencement of the action and can demonstrate that progress has been made
towards eliminating wage differentials based on gender for the same or
substantially similar work on jobs the performance of which requires equal
skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar
working conditions, but cannot demonstrate that any steps were taken to address
any identified deficiencies, shall not be entitled to an affirmative defense
under this subsection, and shall be liable for any civil fine for a violation
of this Act:
(1) up to $500 per
employee affected, if the employer has fewer than 4 employees; or
(2) up to $2,500 per
employee affected, if the employer has 4 or more employees.
(c) Evidence of a
self-evaluation or remedial steps undertaken in accordance with this Section
shall not be admissible in any proceeding as evidence of a violation of this
(d) An employer who
has not completed a self-evaluation shall not be subject to any negative or
adverse inference as a result of not having completed a self-evaluation.
(e) An employer who
uses the affirmative defense under this Section is not precluded from using any
other affirmative defense under this Act.
pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I
hereby return House Bill 2462, entitled “AN ACT concerning employment,” with
the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.