Salary information coming to Illinois job postings under new law

The new pay transparency rules go into effect Jan. 1, 2025

NBC Universal, Inc.

Good news for job seekers in the state of Illinois: the state’s equal pay law was recently updated to require more transparency from businesses.

Specifically, the law adds transparency around pay and benefits offered before an application is filed.

It’s a move many said is a long time coming.

Illinois is now the ninth state to pass a pay transparency law in recent years and several others states are also currently considering wage transparency bills.

Illinois’ law requires employers with 15 or more employees to disclose pay scales and benefits in job postings.

It isn’t just for new hires – the law also requires employers to announce and post all promotion opportunities to current employees within 14 business days of posting the job externally.

Supporters say it’s crucial to closing racial and gender wage gaps.

According to the Census Bureau, women are still paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to a man.

"Lack of information about pay prevents workers from having the information necessary to assess and negotiate in an informed manner. In fact, pay negotiations are generally unfavorable to women and women of color. Disclosing the salary or salary range for a position helps keep employers accountable, levels the negotiating playing field, and gives applicants, employees, employers, and enforcement agencies information to identify and remedy any unjustified pay disparities," Sarah Labadie, director of advocacy and policy for Women Employed, said in an email to NBC 5 Responds. "The new salary transparency law is a win-win for employers and employees alike."

More job seekers are expecting this type of transparency from employers.

According to a Joblist survey of 30,000 people, 55% of all job seekers and 64% of gen z job applicants would not apply to a job posting that lacks wage or salary information, while 91% of job seekers say that they are more likely to apply to a job with pay information.

"It saves time and money for both employers and job seekers. We are increasingly seeing that workers won’t even apply to a job if the salary range isn’t provided. And we’ve heard from more and more businesses—small and large alike—that pay range transparency helps them more efficiently and effectively find and match with candidates who are actually interested and would take the position," said Labadie.

Steve Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau, believes the change could spur positive competition between companies.

"I think it will help the businesses ... not only with the applicants, but again, there’s competition among businesses for the job applicants. So with full transparency, they can’t promise you something on the phone, and then change it when you get there, or they change it while you’re there. The transparency is there so the competition can compete against each other for the same job applicants. So it will help the consumer and help the business," said Bernas.

So far, research is unclear about whether salary range laws actually help close wage gaps and the pay scales can be too wide and confusing in some cases. But some research suggests pay scales are generally narrower and more transparent when it comes to lower-paying jobs than higher-paying jobs.

The new pay transparency rules go into effect Jan. 1, 2025.

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