SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Continuing his commitment to fight for equal pay for all women, state Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, helped pass legislation this week that would prohibit employers from asking applicants about their previous salary history, potentially locking them into a lifetime of lower pay.
“The wage gap between men and women in this country is plain wrong,” said Connor. “You should not be discriminated against simply because of your gender. When this law was being debated, I asked how long it would take the market to correct this problem without legislation, and the answer was ‘decades.’ I’m not waiting decades for Illinois women to be paid what they deserve today, so I joined in this legislation.”
The Connor-backed House Bill 834 would stop employers from asking potential employees about their previous wage history and continuing a cycle of reduced pay for equal work. The legislation is similar to a proposal last year that was supported by Connor but vetoed by former Gov. Bruce Rauner. According to the American Association of American Women, the gender pay ratio in Illinois was 78 percent in 2017.
“Since a gender wage gap still exists, House Bill 834 will strengthen the Illinois Equal Pay Act by making it a violation for employers to ask job applicants about their prior salary or to confirm it with their employer, in order to stop perpetuating unequal pay,” said Melissa Josephs, Director of Equal Opportunity Policy with Women Employed. “Instead, employers should hire employees based on their skills and experience, and pay them based on their budget and the going rate for the job.”