SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Diane Pappas, D-Itasca, recently voted in favor of legislation to help equalize wages for women by passing a bill out of the House that stops employers who use an applicant’s salary history to maintain unfair wage-gap practices.
“Unequal pay is far too common in the modern workplace,” said Pappas. “Using salary history to determine pay reinforces past wage inequality. I know, and my constituents know: equal work deserves equal pay, regardless of gender. Unfortunately, many employers use wage history to deny women that right, and we need to implement policies that reduce the wage gap.”
Pappas voted to pass House Bill 834, which would prohibit employers from asking job applicants about past salary history. The measure would require employers to offer a job applicant a salary that is solely based on experience.
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.”
In addition to House Bill 834, Pappas is committed to finding other solutions to ensure that women are not discriminated against in the workplace, and encourages her constituents to contact her office if they have ideas for other measures that can be implemented to ensure women have equal wages and rights.