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Illinois Senate Fails to Override Governor’s Veto of Salary History Ban

Bucking the nationwide trend, Illinois was unable to pass a law prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. On November 9, 2017, the Illinois Senate failed to override Governor Rauner’s veto of a salary history ban.

As we previously reported, on August 25, 2017, Governor Rauner vetoed a bill that would have prohibited employers from asking applicants about their wage histories. The bill, known as the Illinois No Salary History Law, previously had been passed by the Illinois House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support (91-24 in the House and 35-18 in the Senate).  On October 25, 2017, the Illinois House voted 80-33 to override Governor Rauner’s veto.  If three-fifths (or thirty-six members) of the Illinois Senate had voted to override the veto, the bill would have become law.  The final Illinois Senate vote tally was 29 “yeas,” 17 “nays,” and 1 “present.”

Last year, Massachusetts became the first state or locality to pass a law banning employers from asking applicants about their salary histories. Since then, a number of laws have been passed restricting employer inquiries into applicants’ salary histories.  Following Massachusetts’ lead, states and localities including California, Delaware, New York City, Oregon, Philadelphia, Puerto Rico, and San Francisco have all passed similar restrictions.  Additionally, numerous other states and localities (including Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, D.C. and Virginia) are currently considering similar bans.

Generally speaking, salary history bans prohibit employers from asking applicants about their compensation history during the hiring process. In addition, many salary history bans prohibit employers from using information concerning applicants’ prior compensation in making and negotiating salary offers.  Although each jurisdiction’s law varies, the common intention of these bans is to minimize or eliminate pay disparities between male and female workers.  By eliminating prior compensation as a factor in hiring decisions and salary negotiations, the laws seek to prevent employers from inadvertently perpetuating historic pay bias or discrimination.

Despite the developments in Illinois, employers should continue to monitor developments in this area.  Among other things, employers should immediately begin taking steps to educate their recruiters, hiring managers, human resources personnel, and others involved in the interview and hiring process of the new prohibitions on salary history inquiries. Employers should also carefully review their applicant screening and hiring policies, and job applications and other hiring documents to ensure compliance with the new laws.  For instance, adopting standardized interview and salary negotiation scripts for the hiring process may reduce the risk of violations.

© 2017 Proskauer Rose LLP.

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About this Author

L. Robert Batterman, Labor, Management, Sports, Attorney, Proskauer, Law Firm
Partner

A partner since 1974, Bob Batterman has considerable experience representing both individual employers and multi-employer groups in union relations and collective bargaining. Much of Bob’s time is spent in day-to-day contact with clients, often in “crisis” situations where a rapid resolution of union-related problems is vital.

Bob is a senior member of our nationally recognized Sports Law Group, serving as labor counsel to the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer and the National Football League. He has extensive experience in collective bargaining and related litigation in...

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Emilie Adams, Employment Litigator, Proskauer Law Firm
Associate

Emilie Adams is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the firm’s Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.

Emilie represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation, including but not limited to restrictive covenant and wage and hour issues, and the investigation and litigation of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation claims. 

Emilie also counsels clients on a variety of employment matters, including employment contracts and separation agreements, restrictive covenants, and employment policies and handbooks.

202.416.6837
Alex Weinstein, Labor Attorney, Proskauer Law Firm
Associate

Alex Weinstein is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department. He represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation and counseling.

Alex’s practice focuses on defending companies in both federal and state courts in various industries, including manufacturing, retail, government contracting, utilities, service companies, distribution companies and security. His litigation practice has included class actions and collective actions, general labor and employment, executive disputes, whistleblower claims, government...

202.416.5875