Illinois Senate’s Surprising Failure to Override Governor’s Veto of Equal Pay Bill

Jason Tremblay
Published November 13, 2017

As a follow up to a recent post on this blog, Illinois Equal Pay Act Likely to be Amended to Prohibit Salary History Inquiries, and in a surprising turn of events, the Illinois Senate did not overturn Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto relating to an amendment updating the Equal Pay Act of 2003 that would, among other things, prohibit employers from inquiring about the salary history of applicants. This amendment was aimed to mitigate the gender wage gap by eliminating the practice of “low balling” compensation for female applicants.

Last Thursday, the Senate voted 29-17, which was far less than when the measure was first called in May. The measure had originally received 35 votes. In comparison, the House overrode the Governor’s veto by a much larger margin.

As such and at least for now, this law is not going to take effect. However, similar laws have been passed in other jurisdictions and there is an increasing trend to amend or enact laws to restrict the ability of employers to inquire about an applicant’s wage history. For employers outside of Illinois or that have operations in other jurisdictions, please see our colleague’s recent WISE article here which summarizes similar laws passed in other jurisdictions.

Should you have any questions regarding similar legislation throughout the country or you need any assistance ensuring compliance with those laws, please contact E. Jason Tremblay, Danielle Petaja, Kellie Y. Chen, or your designated Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP attorney.