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Will another veto be overridden?

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* Tribune

Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed a bill that would prohibit employers from asking job candidates about their salary history, but advocates for the measure say they’ll try to garner enough support in the state legislature for an override.

Rauner on Friday vetoed Illinois’ No Salary History bill, which seeks to narrow the pay gap between men and women by keeping too-low salaries from following women as they move from job to job. A wave of similar laws have been adopted in states and cities across the country, including Massachusetts, Oregon, Delaware, New York City and San Francisco.

Iliana Mora, CEO of the advocacy group Women Employed, said she was “shocked” and “disappointed” that Rauner blocked the bill, and plans to work with Republicans who supported the legislation on an override during the November veto session.

The bill passed the House 91-24, so there could very well be an override. It received 35 votes in the Senate, but four Democrats were absent.

* From the governor’s veto message…

The gender wage gap must be eliminated, and I strongly support wage equality. Massachusetts already has established a best-in-the-country approach to the issue of employers inquiring about salary history. Illinois should model its legal regime on Massachusetts’ model.

I strongly encourage the sponsors and the General Assembly at large to take up the following legislative language that more closely resembles the Massachusetts approach

* More on Massachusetts

But the Massachusetts law, which goes into effect next July, allows employers to seek pay history after they have offered a candidate the job and salary — which, on the plus side, could allow employers to increase an offer to make it more appealing, but, on the down side, could reduce an employee’s raise or bonus down the road if it is revealed he or she was earning much less before.

Mora said such provisions weaken the law, and that the goal was to have a simple bill.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

39 Comments
  1. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:42 am:

    As a victim of salary history (although not because of gender bias) this should be overridden. My value to the company shouldn’t be influenced by what I made before.


  2. - Juvenal - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:45 am:

    More important, the Massachusetts provision also weakens salary negotiations following an initial offer, encouraging employers to lowball prospective hires.


  3. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:47 am:

    Aren’t many starting State salaries based on what the person made in their previous job?


  4. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:48 am:

    Here’s a radical idea (although I realize that an employer doesn’t want to pay one penny more than necessary)………Pay the employee the value of the job and in comparison to what they’re paying others doing same job at that company! I suppose if a company could get a high level employee to take the job for 10K, they would. And I am also reminded by my sons that the corporate world has no conscience or moral responsibility.


  5. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    ==Aren’t many starting State salaries based on what the person made in their previous job?==

    Yes. Which is one of the reason the state’s salary structure is so out of whack. You can have two people doing the exact same job and one may be making $20,000 more than another simply based on what they made previously.


  6. - Gooner - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    The problem with the current system is unequal bargaining power. The candidate needs to eat, while the employer typically has numerous candidates relatively close in skills.

    This somewhat levels the playing field, by forcing the employer to make an offer based on the actual value to the company.

    I’m usually very pro-business and pro-contract, but this is necessary to correct something that the market cannot correct on its own.


  7. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    Whats next? A govt mandate on a workers value?

    Since i am a white male and not allowed an opinion on this topic, i ran this post by Mrs Blue (ex CPA and CFO of widget co). Her response, “nonsense”.


  8. - H-W - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:53 am:

    ” … No Salary History bill, which seeks to narrow the pay gap between men and women by keeping too-low salaries from following women as they move from job to job.”

    Exactly. Conservative economists would argue that wage levels should be associated with jobs, not workers. Conservative economics argues that worker productivity is associated with the job and its centrality to the production process. Classical, conservative economics would clearly see that asking for wage history is an irrational form of discrimination, suggesting the employer is incompetent, and has no idea what value the position holds within the organization and the production process. This is a no brainer. Veto on the grounds that the bill is consistent with conservative ideology on the economy.


  9. - Galena Guy - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:54 am:

    Rauner’s whole raison d’être can be summed up in this veto. Disgusting. I swear that he must wake up every day trying to think of new ways to inflict pain and suffering on anyone less fortunate than him.


  10. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:54 am:

    ==Since i am a white male and not allowed an opinion on this topic==

    Did you just go there? C’mon. Enough already.


  11. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    Dem. I kinda thought it timely. Get my age and making funnies is hard to do.


  12. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    ==Whats next? A govt mandate on a workers value?==

    Always the “slippery slope” with some of you. What if . . .what if. Tell me, why is it important that you as an employer know what I made in my last job? The only reason that could possibly matter to you as an employer is to use against me to try and pay me less than what you otherwise might have paid me.


  13. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    Rauner’s veto message: “Massachusetts already has established a best-in-the-country approach to the issue of employers inquiring about salary history.”

    Question- “Best-in the country approach” as determined by??? Sounds like the Illinois bill would be stronger than the MA one in protecting against a retroactive response by an employer once a person is hired and then past salary history is learned.


  14. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    There is a minimum wage for a worker’s value.


  15. - tomhail - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    ==Aren’t many starting State salaries based on what the person made in their previous job?==
    Demoralized, you are incorrect. It’s obvious you’ve never held a rank-and-file State job.


  16. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    ==Aren’t many starting State salaries based on what the person made in their previous job?==
    Exactly so. Let’s say you’re an attorney with 10 years experience that through a stroke of bad luck wound up having to flip burgers to pay the bills. Your starting salary shouldn’t be based on minimum wage.


  17. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:00 am:

    ==Demoralized, you are incorrect. It’s obvious you’ve never held a rank-and-file State job.==

    Tell me how I’m incorrect. You obviously haven’t been involved in any hiring process. I’ve seen how salary offers work. I’m not incorrect.


  18. - igotgotgotgotnotime - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    Rauner fears Illinois will never win the race to the bottom if the legislature keeps throwing up these roadblocks.


  19. - Cubs in '16 - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:02 am:

    What exactly does your wife think is nonsense BDD? Rauner’s veto justification or the legislation itself?


  20. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:03 am:

    Dem. My play on salary history.
    Take away the big corporation thought process.
    Small to midsize companies. Mom/pops are in a constant battle for survival. We dont necessarily have HR staffing. We may not be able to afford job placement services. We have to use the tools available. The way i look at it, if i ask the question, you dont have to answer it. Similarly, i feel i have the right to file 13 your application.


  21. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    Blue:

    Offer me what you are going to offer me. You know what you can afford if you own a business.
    My salary history should be irrelevant, especially in the situation you describe. How does not knowing my salary history harm you?


  22. - Gooner - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:05 am:

    Blue Dog,

    As a business owner, if you can’t calculate a prospective employee’s value to your company, you should not be in business. That’s one of the most basic things about running a business.

    Why do you find it challenging?


  23. - igotgotgotgotnotime - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:06 am:

    If starting salaries with the state are or aren’t based on what a person made in their previous position (and the Superstars salaries certainly suggest they aren’t), what difference does that make to this subject? If you feel like there’s an inherent hypocrisy, so what? Is that the point in itself?


  24. - Perrid - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:11 am:

    I agree with most of the people on here who think that employers should have a salary range in mind when they offer the position, regardless of what the candidate has made before. Asking what they’ve made before just gives the employer more room to lowball the candidate, or to reject them if they think the candidate is too pricey, as in “over-qualified.” The worker gets nothing of value from having the question asked 9 times out of 10.


  25. - MSIX - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:14 am:

    I once received a lowball offer because my current salary (at that time) was low. But I knew what they had been paying the previous person because state employee salaries are public, so I was able to use that to my advantage. The sword cuts both ways.

    As to the bill, wouldn’t this put candidates coming from the private sector at an advantage over candidates coming from state or federal jobs, due to the aforementioned public availability of state/federal salaries? Not that I’m against the bill in theory, but there are many issues in play here.


  26. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    Dem. Gooner. Most of widget employees were union. We did have a small contingent of office personnel. Two things.we Always operated razor thin margins. It was imperative that overhead costs were (regrettably) held to the lowest possible factor. Salary history is a tool. Secondly, i always found that applicants came in asking for too low of a salary. Some sort of fear they wouldnt get job if they asked for the moon. One of the worst things you can do is have a disappointed employee day one.


  27. - Gooner - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    Blue Dog,

    You have a “razor thin margin” but want to pay people more, or they will be disappointed?

    That’s not credible.

    You want to know salary so you can drive down wages.

    Again, you should know the value of the employee to your organization. If they want less then you believe it is worth, good for you. Suddenly, you no longer have a razor thin margin.


  28. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    ==Your starting salary shouldn’t be based on minimum wage.==

    Each type of position has an established range, so an attorney for the State isn’t going to making minimum wage. Depending on their previous job, though, they could start at 50k or 6 figures


  29. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    So would such a law preclude public posting of State salaries? If not, wouldn’t the State be continuing what has been deemed by this bill to contribute to sexist wages?


  30. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    Gooner.yes. the US steel industry has been under fire for decades due to China (and some extent south korea). Daily factors beyond a small companies control. It is a double edged sword. A well run small company must keep costs down, but pay enough to keep key personnel in place. Had we gotten any help from previous administrations on currency mamipulation, wel…..


  31. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    Anonymous @ 10:22 (please pick a nickname) I didn’t say the attornery would be starting at minimum wage, what I said was that the attorney would be starting at the bottom of the payscale regardless of experience or what they were previously making as an attorney.


  32. - Gooner - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    Blue Dog,

    Now you are blaming government again? When you don’t have your act together enough to know what an employee will cost and generate?

    No wonder you are working on razor thin margins.


  33. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:39 am:

    ==So would such a law preclude public posting of State salaries? If not, wouldn’t the State be continuing what has been deemed by this bill to contribute to sexist wages?

    State salaries would still be posted online because the state has a compelling interest in reducing the gender wage gap by keeping salaries private, but the state’s compelling interest in ensuring transparency outweighs that.

    Private companies have an interest in paying female employees less than they’re worth because they can, but the state has an interest in preventing this. The state has no competing interest in transparency at private firms - if a CEO wants to pay a friend or family member $500,000 to twiddle their thumbs, taxpayers don’t foot the bill.


  34. - walker - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:15 am:

    Have occasionally seen the opposite situation, where one’s previous salary made one “overqualified” and “likely to be unhappy” in the job.


  35. - Lt Guv - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:46 am:

    Heck of a job as a social justice warrior there Brucie.


  36. - Steve - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 12:06 pm:

    The biggest losers in this are going to be people who don’t have connections. If employers can’t ask for a salary history: they tend to favor those on the inside of their firm or people they know. You can’t make an employer hire someone.


  37. - Gooner - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 12:21 pm:

    Steve,

    You really think relying on connections will occur more only if prior salary is not disclosed?

    Employers do that anyway literally all the time. In fact, there is a name for it: “Networking.” There are events. It is pretty common. Most employees and most employers engage in the practice.

    I doubt that if this will change something that is currently prevalent.


  38. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 12:39 pm:

    “You want to know salary so you can drive down wages.”

    No other rationale makes any sense.

    – MrJM


  39. - Responsa - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 1:23 pm:

    I agree that in general anyone’s salary should be tied exclusively to the value and contribution of the particular job being filled, not past pay of the worker. However, since most things are not black and white there are some times when knowing and verifying the previous salary can be an important tip-off to employers that the candidate in question may not have the actual credentials or experience they are claiming makes them a fit for new job. This has happened to me (as a hiring manager) only twice in a fairly long business career. But in both those cases the candidate’s previous salary in the field -when weighed against the job description- both disclosed an employee who is willing to fudge his resume and who clearly would not have had the wherewithal to succeed in the job at that level at that time.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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