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New law will bar Illinois employers from asking job applicants for pay history

Illinois companies will no longer be allowed to ask job applicants or their previous employers about salary history under a measure Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law Wednesday.
Advocates say asking applicants about their salaries at previous jobs helps perpetuate a wage gap between men and women doing the same jobs. Illinois lawmakers passed two previous versions of the legislation, but Pritzker’s predecessor, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, vetoed both.
“We are declaring that one’s history should not dictate one’s future, that no person should be held back from earning their true value because of how much money they were paid in a previous job,” Pritzker said during a bill-signing event at Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens in the Prairie District neighborhood on the Near South Side. “It’s no longer acceptable to wring quality work out of capable women at a discounted rate.”
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The measure Pritzker signed, which takes effect in 60 days, passed with bipartisan support this spring in the House and Senate. Workers will be able to seek up to $10,000 in damages if employers violate the law, and it also protects the right of employees to discuss their salaries and benefits with co-workers.
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