Illinois could require job postings to disclose salary range, benefits

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois employers will be required to disclose salary ranges and benefits on job postings starting January 1, 2025, if Governor JB Pritzker signs the bill into law, as expected.

Illinois could become the next after New York, California, and Washington state to fine businesses with 15 or more employees that fail to include on job postings information about offered pay scales and benefits for those jobs.  

The most recent amendment to the Equal Pay Act of 2003 paves the way for complaints about job postings to be filed with the Illinois Department of Labor, which will conduct investigations.

If found that an employer did not specifically place required information on a job posting, a graduated listing of fines may be imposed by the Department: a maximum of $500 for first offense, a maximum of $2500 for second offense, and a $10,000 maximum for the third offense.

The Department of Labor may also ask the Department of Human Rights to join the investigation if the company appears to have ignored the law to discriminate based on identities such as race, ethnicity, gender, or language.

HB 3129 will also require employers to preserve records of the pay scale and benefits information for each position posted by the employer.

TMA and several TMA members filed witness slips opposing HB 3129 before the bill was heard in committee.

Subsequently, HB 3129 passed the Illinois General Assembly in votes along partisan lines: in the Illinois Senate 35-19 and in the Illinois House 75-39.

The Illinois Senate sponsor Cristian Pacione-Zayas, a Democrat from Chicago, said in debate that job postings including salary ranges would cause employers to evaluate for any “unjustified disparities” between employees’ pay based on race, ethnicity, gender or language.

Sen. Win Stoller, R-East Peoria, said HB 3129’s requirements are “divorced from reality,” as they do not take into consideration what can often be an “unpredictable” hiring process.

“As a small business owner myself, we’ve had situations where we find the right person and we’ll restructure a department,” Stoller said in a WQAD8 News story. “We’ll rearrange some roles to take into full account, to take full advantage of their skills and abilities.”

That flexibility in hiring will be severely restricted with HB 3129, opponents said – creating yet another obstacle to successful business hiring in Illinois.

However, HB 3129 does say, “Nothing in this subsection requires an employer to make a job posting.”

The Technology & Manufacturing Association remains opposed to HB 3129, even in its amended form. The National Federation of Independent Businesses is also opposed.

A key provision of HB 3129 states:

(b-25) It is unlawful for an employer with 15 or more employees to fail to include the pay scale and benefits for a position in any specific job posting. The inclusion of a hyperlink to a publicly viewable webpage that includes the pay scale and benefits satisfies the requirements for inclusion under this subsection. If an employer engages a third party to announce, post, publish, or otherwise make known a job posting, the employer shall provide the pay scale and benefits, or a hyperlink to the pay scale and benefits, to the third party and the third party shall include the pay scale and benefits, or a hyperlink to the pay scale and benefits, in the job posting. The third party is liable for failure to include the pay scale and benefits in the job posting, unless the third party can show that the employer did not provide the necessary information regarding pay scale and benefits. An employer shall announce, post, or otherwise make known all opportunities for promotion to all current employees no later than 14 calendar days after the employer makes an external job posting for the position, except for positions in the State of Illinois workforce designated as exempt from competitive selection. Nothing in this subsection requires an employer to make a job posting. Posting of a relevant and up to date general benefits description in an easily accessible, central, and public location on an employer’s website and referring to this posting in the job posting shall be deemed to satisfy the benefits posting requirement under this subsection. This subsection only applies to positions that (i) will be physically performed, at least in part, in Illinois or (ii) will be physically performed outside of Illinois, but the employee reports to a supervisor, office, or other work site in Illinois. Nothing in this subsection prohibits an employer or employment agency from asking an applicant about his or her wage or salary expectations for the position the applicant is applying for. An employer or employment agency shall disclose to an applicant for employment the pay scale and benefits to be offered for the position prior to any offer or discussion of compensation and at the applicant’s request, if a public or internal posting for the job, promotion, transfer, or other employment opportunity has not been made available to the applicant. This subsection shall only apply to job postings that have been posted after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 103rd General Assembly.

(b-30) An employer or an employment agency shall not refuse to interview, hire, promote, or employ, and shall not otherwise retaliate against, an applicant for employment or an employee for exercising any rights under subsection (b-25).

The Technology & Manufacturing Association encourages its members to urge Governor Pritzker to veto the bill – although most Capitol insiders expect him to be committed to signing it.

The bill’s key proponents are government and service employee unions such AFL-CIO, SEIU and AFSCME.

Call to action:  If you are interesting in joining TMA in urging the Governor to veto HB 3129, click HERE to send Governor Pritzker an email.