Compliance With the Illinois Equal Pay Act Amendments Begins March 24

February 08, 2022
Inside HR
Affirmative Action
HR Compliance
Read time: 4 mins

Requirements associated with the 2021 Amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act (IEPA) will soon become effective. On January 25, 2022, the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) issued a press release regarding information related to covered employer timelines for Equal Pay Registration Certificates.

In 2021, Governor Pritzker signed updated legislation (PA 101-656 and PA 102-26) amending the Illinois Equal Pay Act, requiring private businesses with 100 or more employees in the state of Illinois, to report certain payroll information to the IDOL. These Amendments added the following requirements for covered employers:

  1. Apply for an “equal pay registration certificate” from the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL).
  2. Submit a statement certifying compliance with various equal pay and discrimination laws, among other things.
  3. Submit their most recent EEO-1 report.
  4. Compile and submit demographic data and wage records.

Application Requirements for Employers

Employers authorized to do business in Illinois on or before March 23, 2021, must apply to obtain an equal pay certificate between March 24, 2022 and March 23, 2024, and are required to recertify every two years thereafter. Employers first authorized to conduct business in the state after March 23, 2021 have three years after beginning business operations to apply for registration, but not before January 1, 2024. Those businesses will also be subject to the 2-year recertification rule.

Companies with less than 100 employees do not need to apply until reaching the 100-employee threshold. At that time, the employer should provide contact information to the department using the registration website. Public employers are also exempt from reporting requirements.

The Amendment states that the Illinois Department of Labor will assign each business a date by which it must submit an application no less than 120 days prior to the registration deadline. However, it also clarifies that employers will not be able to rely upon the Department’s failure to assign a submission deadline to indicate that an employer does not need to register. It further states that the Department’s failure to notify any business of its certification or recertification deadline “may be a mitigating factor when making a determination of a violation” of the Act.

When applying or recertifying for an equal pay registration certificate, covered employers must submit a copy of the business’s most recently filed EEO-1 to the IDOL.

Demographic Data and Wage Records

In addition to the EEO-1 report, employers must provide a list of all employees during the past calendar year that includes:

  • A separation by gender, race, and ethnicity categories (consistent with EEO-1 reporting)
  • The county in which the employee works
  • The employee’s hire date
  • Any other information as determined by the Illinois Department of Labor to determine if pay equity exists
  • Total wages paid to each employee during the past calendar year, rounded to the nearest $100

Equal Pay Compliance Statement

To apply for or recertify for an equal pay registration certificate, covered employers must submit a statement certifying:

  • That the business complies with the Illinois Equal Pay Act and “other relevant laws,” including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Illinois Human Rights Act, and the Illinois Equal Wage Act.
  • That the average compensation for female and minority employees is not consistently below the average compensation (as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor) for its male and nonminority employees within each of the major job categories in the EEO-1 for which an employee is expected to perform work.
  • When determining the average compensation for female and minority employees compared to male and nonminority employees, factors such as length of service, job requirements, experience, skill, effort, responsibilities, working conditions, education and/or training, job location, use of a collective bargaining agreement, or other mitigating factors are considered.
  • That the business does not restrict assignment to job classifications to employees of one gender and makes retention and promotion decisions without regard to gender.
  • That wage and benefit disparities are corrected when identified to ensure compliance with the equal pay and discrimination laws.
  • How often wages and benefits are evaluated.
  • The approach the business takes in determining the level of wages and benefits to pay its employees.


Violations of the IEPA’s reporting and certification requirements can cost a business up to $10,000. The IEPA is unclear whether this fine is for any violation or if an employer may be fined up to $10,000 for each violation of the reporting and certification requirements.

Additional Information for Employers

All data collected will be published, for public viewing, on the Illinois Secretary of State’s website 90 days following receipt of the information. It is expected that the data will be broken down further and analyzed, but the details of additional analysis have not been provided.

As covered employers are in the midst of preparing to complete EEO-1 reporting, Illinois employers may also wish to review the additional data requirements for the state reporting. This can help in preparation for to submitting data after receiving the notice to apply for the state registration certificate. Qualified employers are also advised to be proactive in obtaining a deadline from the IDOL, if a notice to apply is not received.

Additional information may be obtained by contacting Robert Parrilli at [email protected] or Nancy Hernandez at [email protected], or by contacting the 24/7 HR Hotline at 866.HR-Hotline (866.474.6854).