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Illinois Adopts New Equal Pay Requirements

Many states across the country have adopted new or revised equal pay laws in an effort to address pay inequities in the workplace. Illinois joined that list with March 22, 2021 amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act of 2003 and Illinois Business Corporation Act, which took immediate effect. The amendments require employers to assemble, submit, and, in some cases, even publish demographic and pay equity data.

The Illinois Equal Pay Act amendments require all employers with more than 100 employees in the state of Illinois to submit employee compensation data to the Illinois Department of Labor. Covered businesses must provide the Department with data regarding each employee’s gender, race, ethnicity, and compensation within the prior calendar year. The employer must also submit a sworn certification to the Department of Labor that the employer complies with the Illinois Equal Pay Act, the Illinois Human Rights Act, and their federal counterparts. The bill requires all covered employers to obtain an equal pay registration certificate from the Department of Labor stating that they have made their required submissions. Employers must obtain the certificate within three years of the passage of the bill or three years after commencing operations in Illinois, and then every two years thereafter.

Illinois also amended the Illinois Business Corporation Act to impose requirements on employers regarding the publication of data about gender and racial composition of the workforce. Any Illinois corporation required to file a federal EEO-1 report must also make a a similar submission to the Illinois Secretary of State that includes data regarding the gender, race, and ethnicity breakdown of the employer’s Illinois, the Illinois Secretary of State will publish the employee composition data reports within 90 days of receipt of the corporation’s annual report. 

Employers with a significant (100+) population of employees in the state of Illinois should begin preparing to comply with these new pay equity and employee data reporting requirements. Employers should analyze their data and take appropriate steps to address any pay disparities well in advance of the date (no later than March 2024) by which they will be required to get their first equal pay certificate from the state. Employers should also ensure that they are prepared to collect and submit the data required by the state of Illinois in a timely manner.

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