SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, recently voted to support equal pay by passing a measure that cracks down on employers that use discriminatory practices to lock women into a lifetime of unfair wages.
“Unequal pay for women goes on in almost every profession, and it is shameful,” said Jones. “Women who do the same work as men do not deserve any less for their effort. It happens to teachers, it happens to doctors, and it has got to stop. When we let unequal pay go on around us and we don’t do anything, we’re saying that it’s ok. It’s not ok to me, and it’s not ok to the women and men in the communities I represent.”
Jones voted to pass House Bill 834, which will more strictly prevent employers from setting unequal salaries for men and women solely based on gender and increases the benefits an employee will receive if their employer is discovered doing that. Jones’ measure also stops employers from requiring a job applicant to submit a salary history, because it can lead to continuing unfair pay trends.
Melissa Josephs, director of equal opportunity policy with Women Employed, voiced her support for the legislation.
“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 Josephs. “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.”