A day after advocates descended on the Capitol to push for women’s rights, the Illinois House passed a bill that proponents say would help close the pay gap between men and women.
Sponsored by Democratic Rep. Anna Moeller of Elgin, the measure would bar employers from asking job applicants for prior wage or salary history unless it’s already public information or the applicant is moving within the company. Moeller and other supporters say this would help curb wage discrimination against women by ensuring an employer’s salary offer isn’t based on an unequal wage. […]
But the bill did win support from some Republicans who said it was time for lawmakers to address inequalities in the workplace. It passed the House 91-24 and now heads to the Senate.
“I may be one of the few people in this assembly that spent 30 years working for a large corporation, in fact one of the largest corporations in the world. This was my life, and I have to vote for this bill,” said Rep. Margo McDermed, R-Mokena, a former attorney for a major oil and gas company. “I think about with very great regret how much more I would have retired with if we’d had some of the protections that our representative is fighting for here today.”
Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, said the law will hamstring employers who hire sales representatives who work on commissions.
“I need to ask how much they made in the past (to evaluate them),” Batinick said.
Moeller said the information is not relevant.
“To say it is not relevant, I think is an absurdity,” Batinick responded.
However, Rep. Steve Andersson, R-Geneva, said he’s spent 25 years hiring people, and past salary history is not relevant.
“You know what’s relevant? Recommendations, work experience, where your education came from,” Andersson said. “We have to accept the reality that women are paid less than men.”
* Michon Lindstrom at WAND TV…
“The very fact that women continue to make less demonstrates that we must do better in this state. Illinois can be a leader in assuring that women are paid for their work.” said Representative Anna Moeller, D-Elgin, the sponsor of the bill.
Opponents of the measure say the new restrictions on employers would be bad for business in the state and could cause them to leave.
“This bill has nothing to do with pay equity. All it is doing is putting additional restrictions on people who want to create jobs in the state. That’s the reason every single business group in the state is opposed. This is the stupidest bill we have considered this week.” said Representative Peter Breen, R-Lombard.
The roll call is here. Lots of Republicans voted for that bill. Politically, it’s conceivable that Gov. Rauner could undo some of the damage he’s done to himself by flip-flopping on HB 40 by signing that legislation into law. We’ll see.