SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In an effort to end practices of pay discrimination between male and female employees, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, is sponsoring legislation to create modern equal pay policies.
“Women in Illinois are not equally compensated for the work that they do. In some cases, women earn only between 54 and 79 cents on the dollar for what men earn,” said Welch. “This cannot continue. The time for real policy change is now, and I want to tackle this issue head on. This legislation I am supporting will help accomplish that goal.”
Welch is sponsoring House Bill 2462, which strengthens state law requiring employers to pay women the same as equally qualified men doing the same job. Welch’s legislation prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their previous wages, a practice that can lock women in to lower pay for their entire careers. His measure also bars companies from requiring employees sign contracts that would prevent them from discussing their salary.
“In this century, pay discrepancies should not be a continuing practice and should be left in the past where it belongs,” said Welch. “I do not believe that women in Illinois should be paid any less than they are deserved. That is why I think this legislation will help us achieve better standards of equality.”