Illinois Employers: Get Ready to Comply with Salary History Ban

August 07, 2019
Inside HR
HR Compliance
Read time: 2 mins

On July 31, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a law that prohibits Illinois employers from asking for or considering compensation history when making employment decisions or setting compensation. The new law, which takes effect on September 29, 2019, also ensures that employees can discuss their salary, benefits, or other compensation with colleagues.

The law is aimed at reducing the wage gap between men and women performing similar jobs. In addition to banning salary history inquiries, the new law expands potential claims under the Illinois Equal Pay Act

Employers may provide salary information offered in relation to a position and engage in discussions with an applicant about his or her salary expectations. Additionally, a job applicant may voluntarily and without prompting disclose his or her current or prior salary history.  However, the new law prohibits:

  • Screening job applicants based on their current or prior wages or salary histories, including benefits or other compensation; 
  • Requiring that the wage or salary history of an applicant satisfy minimum or maximum criteria; 
  • Requesting or requiring a wage or salary history as a condition of employment or to be considered for a job; 
  • Seeking the wage or salary history, including benefits or other compensation, of a job applicant from any current or former employer; and 
  • Retaliating against someone who fails to comply with any wage or salary history inquiry.

Key Takeaway

Illinois employers should modify their job applications to remove all questions regarding prior pay and benefits. In addition, recruiting and hiring managers should be informed of this change so at no point in the hiring process they ask about salary history. However, this law does not preclude asking a question such as “What are your salary requirements as you take the next step in your career?”

MRA members can contact our HR Hotline with questions at 866-HR-Hotline (866-474-6854) or email at

Source: Michael Hyatt, Director, HR Government Affairs, MRA – The Management Association; CCH/Wolters Kluwer