Chicago – Women Employed, which has been creating fundamental, systemic change for working women for 50 years, today applauded Gov. Pritzker for signing the salary transparency bill into law. The law amends the Illinois Equal Pay Act, and continues the state’s commitment to ensuring equal pay for all workers.
Sponsored by Rep. Mary Beth Canty and former Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas, the new law requires businesses with 15 or more employees to publicly post the wage or salary and description of benefits offered for a job, promotion, transfer or other employment opportunity beginning January 2025. It also requires employers to provide employees their current wage or salary range along with a general description of benefits upon that employee’s hiring, promotion or transfer, upon the employee’s request.
“We are grateful to Gov. Pritzker, Rep. Canty, Sen. Pacione-Zayas and all the partners we have worked with to advance pay equity across our state,” said Cherita Ellens, President and CEO of Women Employed. “Today we take a major step forward in closing the racial and gender pay gap for Illinois workers, and ultimately creating more fair and inclusive workplaces for working people across the state.”
In Illinois, closing the gender wage gap would translate into a 16 percent increase in women’s earnings, totaling $20.5 billion, a huge boost for the state’s economy. It also means 1.1 million children would benefit from equal pay, potentially reducing the poverty rate for children with working mothers by 43 percent.
Pay range and benefits information helps prospective employees accurately assess job opportunities and negotiate in an informed manner. Disclosing the salary or salary range for a position helps keep employers accountable, levels the negotiating playing field, and gives applicants, employees, and enforcement agencies information to identify and remedy any unjustified pay disparities.
Pay range transparency also helps businesses of all sizes more efficiently and effectively find and match candidates who are interested and would take the position. This helps save costs and gives small businesses without an HR team an edge, which is why many small businesses already include pay ranges in job announcements. Earlier this year, Adobe’s Future Workforce Study found that the vast majority of recent and upcoming college graduates want to know how much a role will pay before even applying.
Recently, Women Employed was the lead partner for the Illinois FARE Grant project, spearheaded by the Illinois Department of Labor and funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau, which sought to ensure that women across the state, especially those in low-paid jobs, are aware of their equal pay rights, remedies, and resources. The effort reached millions of women across the state, helping them to better understand and advocate for their workplace rights.
In addition to advocating for the salary transparency law, Women Employed has advocated for all of the equal pay laws currently on the books in Illinois, including the No Salary History bill that passed in 2019. The law banned asking job applicants their previous salary and eliminated a practice that had perpetuated racial and gender wage gaps.
Illinois joins Colorado, Washington, and New York City with laws that require pay ranges be included in job postings.
About Women Employed
Since 1973, Women Employed has worked to improve the economic status of women and remove barriers to economic equity by affecting policy change, expanding access to educational opportunities, and advocating for fair and inclusive workplaces so that all women, families, and communities can thrive. For more information, visit womenemployed.org or follow @WomenEmployed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.