Job Applicants’ Salary History Soon to Be Off Limits for Illinois Employers


Illinois companies will no longer be allowed to ask job applicants or their previous employers about salary history. The No Salary History law, which will go into effect on September 30, 2019, strengthens the Illinois Equal Pay Act by prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about their past wages during the hiring process. The Act specifically prohibits employers, among other things, from screening job applicants based on their current or prior wages or salary histories, from requesting or requiring applicants to disclose wage or salary history, and from requesting such information from any current or former employer. Employers remain able to share information with applicants about compensation and benefits of a position, as well as discuss an applicant’s expectations regarding compensation and benefits. Applicants may also voluntarily disclose their prior compensation and benefits history. However, an employer may not rely upon that information in determining whether to make an offer, or in setting the applicant’s initial or future compensation. Employers who violate the prohibition on inquiring about salary history may be held liable for “special damages” of up to $10,000 and additional compensatory damages. In advance of this new law going into effect later this year, all employers should review their hiring practices and train personnel involved in hiring to avoid inquiring about an applicant’s compensation and benefit history.

Please contact Alex Marks (312-840-7022) or Elizabeth Pall (312-840-7099) with any questions.

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