You Deserve Fair Pay


Illinois' No Salary History Law

As of September 29, 2019 employers in Illinois cannot ask job applicants about their current or past wages—a practice that contributes to wage discrimination. This law is an amendment to the Illinois Equal Pay Act of 2003.

Everybody deserves to be paid fairly. But women in the U.S. who work full-time, year-round are typically paid only 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. And the barriers are even greater for Black and Latina/x women who have even wider wage gaps due to both gender and racial bias, and for women in low-paid jobs who are struggling to get by. For nearly 50 years, Women Employed has been fighting to make work work for more people—and that includes ensuring more women are paid fairly.

We want to make sure YOU know your rights to fair pay. Check out the tools and resources below.

Illinois' Equal Pay Act of 2003

In addition to the No Salary History provision above, the Illinois Equal Pay Act prohibits employers with four or more employees from paying unequal wages to men and women, and to Black and non-Black employees, for doing the same or substantially similar work except if the difference is based on a seniority system, a merit system, a system measuring earnings by quantity or quality of production, or factors other than gender or race.

Where to Go if Your Equal Pay Rights are Violated in Illinois

The IL Dept. of Labor enforces the Illinois Equal Pay Act, the law that requires that men and women receive equal pay for doing the same or substantially similar work. An employee or former employee may file a complaint. You can file a complaint online or by calling them at 1-866-372-4365. If you think your employer has discriminated against you, there is a time limit to file, so you should contact the agency as soon as possible.

For general information, contact the IL Dept. of Labor at 312-793-2808 or


Equal Pay and Pay Transparency Protections

The U.S. Department of Labor has put together a resource to learn your federal rights to equal pay and pay transparency, as well as your rights in each state.

Where to Go if Your Federal Equal Pay Rights are Violated

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the federal law that says there will be no job discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, and national origin. Under this law, wage discrimination is illegal. If you feel your employer has discriminated against you, there is a time limit to file, so you should contact the agency as soon as possible.


Salary Negotiation Workshop

Watch Women Employed’s salary negotiation workshop, which includes a specific focus on the barriers to pay equity facing Black and Latina/x women, led by Ibie Hart, Women Employed’s Associate Director of Business Development. For a customized workshop on the impact of the gender wage gap, and tools for employers and employees to combat it including salary negotiation, email Ibie Hart.

The Fostering Access and Racial Equity (FARE) Grant

The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) was recently one of six states and territories across the country awarded the US Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau FARE Grant, which helps women workers who earn low wages learn about and access their employment rights and benefits. 

Women Employed is partnering with IDOL on the Illinois FARE Grant project, which will raise awareness of pay equity and pay transparency standards among women workers, particularly low-wage women of color. Centering their needs and voices, the project will strengthen Illinois’ capacity to enforce pay equity and other employment protections, helping realize the intended outcomes of legislative action, inform enforcement strategies and more proactive investigations, and advance gender and racial equity statewide. For more about the FARE Grant, go to

About Women Employed

Women Employed (WE) is an almost 50-year-old advocacy organization that pursues equity for women in the workforce by effecting policy change, expanding access to educational opportunities, and advocating for fair and inclusive workplaces so that all women, families, and communities can thrive. Our mission is to improve the economic status of women and remove barriers to economic equity, with the bold social goal of closing the wealth gap at the intersection of race and gender.

Since our founding in 1973, we’ve been involved in nearly every major advance for working women, like advocating for the Family and Medical Leave Act and the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, helping write the rules that made sexual harassment illegal, working to pass the Illinois Equal Pay Act and No Salary History Law, Chicago’s paid sick time law, minimum wage increases, and fair scheduling ordinances. But our work is not done. Right now, we’re advocating nationally and in Illinois for pay equity and strengthened workplace protections. And we’re partnering with the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) to raise awareness of pay equity and pay transparency standards.