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House advances equal pay bill

Thursday, Apr 27, 2017

* Tribune

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.”

* Finke

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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 9:19 am:

    Lot of GOP votes. Do they stick around if the boss vetoes? I wonder if the superstars had a heads-up this was coming?

  2. - walker - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 9:44 am:

    A tiny step in the real world but a good signal.

  3. - illinoised - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 9:53 am:

    I have hired people for the last forty years. I never asked nor cared about their prior wages/salary. I looked at the factors Rep. Andersson cited. As for money, all that mattered was whether they would accept what I was offering.

  4. - Chicagonk - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 10:13 am:

    The way I read the statute, employers could still ask potential hires what their gross book of business was, which obviously is important if you are hiring a salesperson from a competitor.

  5. - Swift - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 10:55 am:

    Anyone know the bill number? I really don’t understand why in the age of the internet news stories don’t include a link to the actual bill or at a bare minimum include the bill number.

  6. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    ===Anyone know the bill number?===

    Click on the roll call link. C’mon. Keep up here.

  7. - ChrisB - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    As someone who is looking for a new job, I almost always try to dodge this question. To me, it’s a way to anchor the future salary negotiations in the employers favor.

    On the other hand, I’m not sure how this bill will close the pay gap between men and women, because the effect will probably be that everyone gets paid more.

  8. - DuPage - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    For employees that are unionized, the pay for both men and women is the same for the same job.
    If Rauner succeeds in busting the unions, then all bets are off.

  9. - Politix - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:01 pm:

    Ensuring equal pay for women, in other words, doing the right thing, in no way will undo Rauner’s flip flop on HB40. The only thing that will undo that would be not to veto. Don’t underestimate us, sir.

  10. - Swift - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:18 pm:

    Okay, missed the roll call link. My complaint about news articles not having a bill number or link still stands.

  11. - A guy - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 1:32 pm:

    There’s a better bill available that has been in place and functioning well in Massachusetts. Leader Durkin cited it yesterday. The sponsor had no idea what the language in her bill even said. It’s not an effective bill. Poorly constructed bill with a nice name. That’s what we do in Illinois. Ugh.

  12. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 1:45 pm:

    Guy, if the MA bill is objectively “better” and doesn’t have any cute obscure language, let’s do that one. Let’s do something!

  13. - Muscular - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 3:03 pm:

    Chris, Job titles may not reflect someone’s duties and a job description does not address what skills were primarily utilized. A salary can be a precise valuation of someone’s labor value. Employment markets generally value certain capacities at certain price points. Knowing how someone’s labor was priced delivers insight on the person’s value to the organization.

  14. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    Only the most liberal democrats think being against HB 40 will hurt the Governor.

    No poll says it enjoys majority support in Illinois or nationwide

  15. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 4:14 pm:

    ===think being against HB 40 will hurt the Governor.===

    If/when Rauner vetoed HB40, exposing Diana Rauner as someone who vouched for a flip flopper, and exposes Bruce Rauner’s social agenda, it will be the suburban women that may disagree with you… at the voting booth.

    Bruce has a social agenda, Diana Rauner vouched for someone who says one thing in a questionnaire, and vetoes legislation that counters every word that those answers say.

  16. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 10:27 pm:

    Not one more bill should be introduced, debated or passed until we get a budget. That is the most important bill and everything else is just a distraction. We should be holding all elected officials to this standard.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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