SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A proposal backed by state Rep. Yehiel “Mark” Kalish, D-Chicago, that will bring greater pay equity for women to Illinois sponsored overwhelmingly passed the Illinois House last week. Kalish’s measure bans a discriminatory practice used to lock women into a lifetime of unfair pay.
“As a father, I want to make sure that all of our daughters are given the same career opportunities that are afforded to their male counterparts,” Kalish said. “While this bill is a step in the right direction, we must remain committed and focused on continuing to fight to end the wage gap and ensure that women are treated equally under the law.”
The Kalish-backed House Bill 834 would prohibit potential employers from screening candidates based on their current wage or their salary history. Given wage discrimination based on gender and race that occurred in the past, banning this unfair practice will prevent a history of unfair pay from following women and minorities from job to job. Former Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed identical legislation last summer, and Kalish is hopeful that it can now become law.
“Prohibiting businesses from inquiring about past wages will help reduce the role that past pay inequity plays moving forward,” Kalish said. “This is about ensuring that women are not locked into a lifetime of unfair, unequal pay. It’s about taking meaningful steps to ensure women are treated equally and I strongly encourage my colleagues in the Senate to support this proposal.”
House Bill 834 is currently awaiting action in the Senate.