Illinois Pay Transparency Bill Moving Rapidly Through Legislature

Author: Emily Scace, XpertHR Legal Editor

May 4, 2023

A bill advancing quickly through the Illinois legislature would add the state to the growing list of jurisdictions that require employers to share pay range information with job applicants.

Pay transparency laws aim to advance pay equity by leveling the playing field to give job applicants and employees more leverage in compensation discussions. The theory is that individuals who have been underpaid in the past - often women and people of color - may accept a lower salary than they could have commanded if they had accurate information to assess the fairness of an employer's offer. This pattern can create and perpetuate systemic pay inequity, which pay transparency laws seek to reverse.

The proposed Illinois pay transparency law, H.B. 3129, would amend the state's Equal Pay Act to require employers with 15 or more employees to include a pay range and description of benefits in any job posting - including those announced, posted or published by a third party such as a recruiter or job search site.

In addition, the measure would require employers to inform current employees of available promotion opportunities on the same calendar day that they advertise for the position externally, or earlier.

Illinois also would empower any individual to file a complaint alleging a violation of the salary posting requirements. After receiving notice of a violation, employers would have seven days to come into compliance before being subject to a civil penalty of $100 for each day that the violation continues. Each noncompliant job posting would be considered a separate violation.

Introduced in February, the bill has passed the Illinois House and is working its way through the Senate. If passed and signed, the law would take effect January 1, 2024.

Similar pay transparency bills are pending in a number of other states and localities, including:

  • Massachusetts;
  • New Jersey;
  • Hawaii; and
  • Chicago.