SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Prospective employees may soon have access to increased salary transparency from potential employers, thanks to a new measure led by state Rep. Mary Beth Canty (D-Arlington Heights) and state Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago).
“Wages and benefits determine how much food caregivers can bring to the table and if they can afford essential health care treatment and other necessary costs that determine a family’s quality of life,” said Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “Transparency is essential to ensure employees are not misled when accepting a role with wages that cannot support them or their family.”
To ensure prospective employees have access to all information on their potential earnings and benefits when determining if they should accept a job, this initiative would require employers with 15 or more employees to publicly post the wage or salary and description of benefits offered for a job, promotion, transfer or other employment opportunity. It also requires employers to provide employees their current wage or salary range along with a general description of benefits upon that employee’s hiring, promotion or transfer, upon the employee’s request.
If an employer does not comply with the act, the Department of Labor would be allowed to conduct its own investigations or file complaints. Any individual who believes that an employer is in violation of the wage and salary provisions of the act would also be able to file a complaint with the Department within one year after the date the individual learned of the violation.
“When people are left in the dark, they can’t advocate for themselves. Pay secrecy keeps women, people of color and other marginalized groups at a disadvantage when they negotiate salaries, perpetuating the status quo of the gender and racial wage gaps,” said State Representative Mary Beth Canty (D-Arlington Heights). “This bill seeks to disrupt such inequality by informing prospective employees of the pay scales for open jobs so they can make educated decisions as they negotiate compensation.”
“Pay range transparency has become an increasingly important factor for jobseekers, and many employers are already moving in the direction of including pay ranges in job postings. At a time of significant and persistent labor challenges, including a pay range is one important step employers can take to build an immediate level of trust with prospective employees while working to attract and retain a diverse and qualified workforce,” said Brad Tietz, Vice President of Government Relations and Strategy for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. “We thank Rep. Canty and Sen. Pacione Zayas for working with us on this important measure which will provide the transparency workers are seeking without sacrificing the nuance and flexibility employers need when hiring.”
“We are so grateful to Rep. Canty and Sen. Pacione-Zayas for their leadership on HB 3129. This bill builds on previous legislation and represents the next step in Illinois’ commitment to pay equity and to closing the gender and racial wage gaps,” said Sarah Labadie, Director of Advocacy and Policy for Women Employed. “Pay transparency helps to reduce pay inequities from the beginning of employment, so that they don’t continue through a person’s career. Fair pay practices make economic sense, helping Illinois businesses attract and retain talent, and saving everyone time and money in hiring — a win for workers and business!”
House Bill 3129 passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly and now awaits consideration by the governor.