Governor Vetoes Ban on Salary History Inquiries

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Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed H.B. 2462, which would have banned employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s salary history, though state legislators remain hopeful they can vote to overturn the veto during the upcoming November session.

Several states and municipalities have legislated salary inquiry bans on the premise that setting salaries based on past levels only perpetuates salary inequality and is especially detrimental to women.

In addition to the ban, H.B. 2462 would’ve lowered the burden of proof for employees claiming equal pay violations. The requirement in the Equal Pay Act of 2003 that employees must prove the job they’re performing requires “equal skill, effort and responsibility” as that of someone who earns more has been removed. In its place is a “substantially similar” standard for comparing the two jobs.

The ban itself would forbid employers from inquiring about salary history not only with the applicant but also with the applicant’s former employers.