June 27, 2022

Volume XII, Number 178

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June 24, 2022

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Illinois Department of Labor Publishes Guidance for Employers Seeking Equal Pay Registration Certificate

Effective March 24, 2022, the Illinois Equal Pay Act (IEPA) was amended to require private businesses with more than 100 employees in Illinois to obtain an Equal Pay Registration Certificate (EPRC) by March 23, 2024, and every two years thereafter.

To apply for the EPRC, businesses must submit the following to the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL): (1) a filing fee; (2) an equal pay compliance statement; (3) a copy of the employer’s most recently filed EEO-1 report; and (4) a list of employees separated by gender and the race and ethnicity categories as reported in the employer’s most recently filed EEO-1 report, and the total wages paid to each employee during the past calendar year.

The IDOL recently updated its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the EPRC, addressing, among other things, the application and submission processes, fee requirements, recertification, publicly available data, and penalties for employer noncompliance.  Here are key takeaways:

  • All employees based in Illinois, including those working remotely, should be included in the total employee count for reporting purposes. An employer’s total employee count includes the total number of people employed who worked in or were based out of Illinois on December 31 of the 12-month calendar year immediately prior the year the employer is required to submit an EPRC application.

  • For reporting purposes, “wages” means any compensation paid to an employee by an employer pursuant to an employment contract or agreement between the two parties, including wages, salaries, earned commissions, earned bonuses, stocks and ownership shares. This does not include retirement health insurance benefits, or other fringe benefits.

  • If an employer’s submitted wage data in its EPRC application shows that the employer is paying unequal wages to male and female employees or to African-American and non-African American employees, the IDOL may initiate its own investigation pursuant to Sections 10(a) and 15(c) of the IEPA and Section 320.200 of the IEPA regulations.

  • Before any fines may be imposed for a violation of the IEPA, the IDOL will provide notice to an employer that violates the IEPA and inadvertently fails to file an initial EPRC application or recertification that they have 30 calendar days to submit the application or recertification. If the employer fails to do so, it shall be fined up to $10,000.

  • An employer that falsifies or misrepresents data on an EPRC application faces suspension or revocation of the EPRC and civil penalties up to $10,000.

  • Current employees subject to the IEPA may request anonymized data from the IDOL regarding their job classification or title and the pay for that classification.

Illinois employers should audit their pay practices to ensure that any differences in wages amongst employees of similar job classifications are justified by legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons. 

© 2022 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 124
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About this Author

Steven J Pearlman, Labor Employment Law Firm, Proskauer Law firm
Partner

Steven Pearlman is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the firm's Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group, resident in the Chicago office. Steven’s practice focuses on defending complex employment litigation involving claims of discrimination and harassment, wage-and-hour laws and breaches of restrictive covenants (e.g., non-competition agreements). He has successfully tried cases to verdict before judges and juries in Illinois, Florida and California, and defended what is reported to be the largest Illinois-only class action in the history of the U.S....

312-962-3545
Edward C. Young, Proskauer Rose, Harassment Lawyer, Labor Rights Attorney
Associate

Edward C. Young is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department. He represents companies nationwide in a broad range of employment issues, including discrimination, retaliation and harassment claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Family Medical Leave Act, as well as other federal and state employment statutes and various common law torts. In addition, Eddie represents employers in trade secret matters and challenges to the independent contractor status of workers.

...

312-962-3595
Dakota D. Treece Labor Lawyer Proskauer Rose :aw Firm
Associate

Dakota Treece is an associate in the Labor Department and a member of the Employment Litigation and Arbitration Group. She completed her law degree at the DePaul University College of Law. 

+1.312.962.3506
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