(820 ILCS 112/11)
Equal pay registration certificate requirements; application.
For the purposes of this Section 11 only, "business" means any private employer who has 100 or more employees in the State of Illinois and is required to file an Annual Employer Information Report EEO-1 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but does not include the State of Illinois or any political subdivision, municipal corporation, or other governmental unit or agency.
(a) A business must obtain an equal pay registration certificate from the Department.
(b) Any business subject to the requirements of this Section that is authorized to transact business in this State on March 23, 2021 shall submit an application to obtain an equal pay registration certificate, between March 24, 2022 and March 23, 2024, and must recertify every 2 years thereafter. Any business subject to the requirements of this Section that is authorized to transact business in this State after March 23, 2021 must submit an application to obtain an equal pay registration certificate within 3 years of commencing business operations, but not before January 1, 2024, and must recertify every 2 years thereafter. The Department shall collect contact information from each business subject to this Section. The Department shall assign each business a date by which it must submit an application to obtain an equal pay registration certificate. The business shall recertify every 2 years at a date to be determined by the Department. When a business receives a notice from the Department to recertify for its equal pay registration certificate, if the business has fewer than 100 employees, the business must certify in writing to the Department that it is exempt from this Section. Any new business that is subject to this Section and authorized to conduct business in this State, after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly, shall submit its contact information to the Department by January 1 of the following year and shall be assigned a date by which it must submit an application to obtain an equal pay registration certificate. The Department's failure to assign a business a registration date does not exempt the business from compliance with this Section. The failure of the Department to notify a business of its recertification deadline may be a mitigating factor when making a determination of a violation of this Section.
(1) A business shall apply for an equal pay
registration certificate by paying a $150 filing fee and submitting wage records and an equal pay compliance statement to the Director as follows:
(A) Wage Records. Any business that is required
to file an annual Employer Information Report EEO-1 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission must submit to the Director a list of all employees during the past calendar year, separated by gender and the race and ethnicity categories as reported in the business's most recently filed Employer Information Report EEO-1, and the county in which the employee works, the date the employee started working for the business, any other information the Department deems necessary to determine if pay equity exists among employees, and report the total wages as defined by Section 2 of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act paid to each employee during the past calendar year, rounded to the nearest $100, to the Director.
(B) Equal Pay Compliance Statement. The
business must submit a statement signed by a corporate officer, legal counsel, or authorized agent of the business certifying:
(i) that the business is in compliance with
this Act and other relevant laws, including but not limited to: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Illinois Human Rights Act, and the Equal Wage Act;
(ii) that the average compensation for its
female and minority employees is not consistently below the average compensation for its male and non-minority employees within each of the major job categories in the Employer Information Report EEO-1 for which an employee is expected to perform work, taking into account factors such as length of service, requirements of specific jobs, experience, skill, effort, responsibility, working conditions of the job, education or training, job location, use of a collective bargaining agreement, or other mitigating factors; as used in this subparagraph, "minority" has the meaning ascribed to that term in paragraph (1) of subsection (A) of Section 2 of the Business Enterprise for Minorities, Women, and Persons with Disabilities Act; and as used in this subparagraph, "compensation" means remuneration or compensation an employee receives in return for services rendered to an employer, including hourly wages, overtime wages, commissions, piece rate work, salary, bonuses, or any other basis of calculation for services performed;
(iii) that the business does not restrict
employees of one sex to certain job classifications, and makes retention and promotion decisions without regard to sex;
(iv) that wage and benefit disparities are
corrected when identified to ensure compliance with the Acts cited in item (i);
(v) how often wages and benefits are
(vi) the approach the business takes in
determining what level of wages and benefits to pay its employees; acceptable approaches include, but are not limited to, a wage and salary survey.
(C) Filing fee. The business shall pay to the
Department a filing fee of $150. Proceeds from the fees collected under this Section shall be deposited into the Equal Pay Fund, a special fund created in the State treasury.
(2) Receipt of the equal pay compliance application
and statement by the Director does not establish compliance with the Acts set forth in item (i) of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of this subsection (c).
(3) A business that has employees in multiple
locations or facilities in Illinois shall submit a single application to the Department regarding all of its operations in Illinois.
(d) Issuance or rejection of registration certificate. After January 1, 2022, the Director must issue an equal pay registration certificate, or a statement of why the application was rejected, within 45 calendar days of receipt of the application. Applicants shall have the opportunity to cure any deficiencies in its application that led to the rejection, and re-submit the revised application to the Department within 30 calendar days of receiving a rejection. Applicants shall have the ability to appeal rejected applications. An application may be rejected only if it does not comply with the requirements of subsection (c), or the business is otherwise found to be in violation of this Act. The receipt of an application by the Department, or the issuance of a registration certificate by the Department, shall not establish compliance with the Equal Pay Act of 2003 as to all Sections except Section 11. The issuance of a registration certificate shall not be a defense against any Equal Pay Act violation found by the Department, nor a basis for mitigation of damages.
(e) Revocation of registration certificate. An equal pay registration certificate for a business may be suspended or revoked by the Director when the business fails to make a good faith effort to comply with the Acts identified in item (i) of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subsection (c), fails to make a good faith effort to comply with this Section, or has multiple violations of this Section or the Acts identified in item (i) of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subsection (c). Prior to suspending or revoking a registration certificate, the Director must first have sought to conciliate with the business regarding wages and benefits due to employees.
Consistent with Section 25, prior to or in connection with the suspension or revocation of an equal pay registration certificate, the Director, or his or her authorized representative, may interview workers, administer oaths, take or cause to be taken the depositions of witnesses, and require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses, and the production of personnel and compensation information relative to the matter under investigation, hearing or a department-initiated audit.
Neither the Department nor the Director shall be held liable for good faith errors in issuing, denying, suspending or revoking certificates.
(f) Administrative review. A business may obtain an administrative hearing in accordance with the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act before the suspension or revocation of its certificate or imposition of civil penalties as provided by subsection (i) is effective by filing a written request for hearing within 20 calendar days after service of notice by the Director.
(g) Technical assistance. The Director must provide technical assistance to any business that requests assistance regarding this Section.
(h) Access to data.
(1) Any individually identifiable information
submitted to the Director within or related to an equal pay registration application or otherwise provided by an employer in its equal pay compliance statement under subsection (c) shall be considered confidential information and not subject to disclosure pursuant to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. As used in this Section, "individually identifiable information" means data submitted pursuant to this Section that is associated with a specific person or business. Aggregate data or reports that are reasonably calculated to prevent the association of any data with any individual business or person are not confidential information. Aggregate data shall include the job category and the average hourly wage by county for each gender, race, and ethnicity category on the registration certificate applications. The Department of Labor may compile aggregate data from registration certificate applications.
(2) The Director's decision to issue, not issue,
revoke, or suspend an equal pay registration certificate is public information.
(3) Notwithstanding this subsection (h), a current
employee of a covered business may request anonymized data regarding their job classification or title and the pay for that classification. No individually identifiable information may be provided to an employee making a request under this paragraph.
(4) Notwithstanding this subsection (h), the
Department may share data and identifiable information with the Department of Human Rights, pursuant to its enforcement of Article 2 of the Illinois Human Rights Act, or the Office of the Attorney General, pursuant to its enforcement of Section 10-104 of the Illinois Human Rights Act.
(5) Any Department employee who willfully and
knowingly divulges, except in accordance with a proper judicial order or otherwise provided by law, confidential information received by the Department from any business pursuant to this Act shall be deemed to have violated the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act and be subject to the penalties established under subsections (e) and (f) of Section 50-5 of that Act after investigation and opportunity for hearing before the Executive Ethics Commission in accordance with Section 20-50 of that Act.
(i) Penalty. Falsification or misrepresentation of information on an application submitted to the Department shall constitute a violation of this Act and the Department may seek to suspend or revoke an equal pay registration certificate or impose civil penalties as provided under subsection (c) of Section 30.
(Source: P.A. 102-36, eff. 6-25-21; 102-705, eff. 4-22-22; 103-201, eff. 1-1-24