Illinois employers prohibited from asking about wage history starting Sunday

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Illinois (KWQC) - Starting Sunday, Illinois employers will no longer be able to ask about job applicants' past wages and compensation histories.

(MGN)

Employers will also be prohibited from using that information to screen candidates for a position.

The idea behind the wage history ban is to help break a cycle where predominantly, women and people of color have received lower pay for performing the same or similar work as male and non-minority workers. Officials say employers are more likely to keep the cycle going if they base the new employee's pay on what he or she had previously earned.

Employers can be punished for asking the applicant or the applicant's current or former employer for wage or salary history.

The prohibition does not apply if a job applicant's salary history is a matter of public record or if the applicant is a current employee applying with the same employer.

Also, if an applicant voluntarily provides wage or salary history, the employer hasn't broken the law and would not be punished. Still, the information is not allowed to be used to make a hiring decision or to determine the applicant's salary.

The new law also doesn't prohibit an employer from asking an applicant what they hope to make at their new position.