More adjustments to the IL Equal Pay Act | SmithAmundsen LLC

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On June 25, 2021, Governor Pritzker enacted additional amendments to the IL Equal Pay Act of 2003.

March 2021 Changes (Summary)

As discussed in our blog post from March 23, 2021, will employers have to donate 1% of their total gross profits to the state of Illinois? Governor Pritzker Passes Law Unprecedented changes to equal pay laws and IL companies, March amendments to the law require companies with 100 or more employees to obtain certification of compliance with the law equal pay from the IL Ministry of Labor (IDOL).

The certification process requires employers to submit an application containing a statement affirming compliance with the principles of equal pay set out in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Equal Pay Act 1963, the the IL Human Rights Act, the Equal Pay Act and the IL Equal Pay Act of 2003. Specifically, the declaration must be signed by an officer or officer of the company and confirm the following statements:

  • The average remuneration of female and minority employees of the company is not systematically lower than the average remuneration of its male and non-minority employees in the main job categories, taking into account various distinguishing factors;
  • The company does not limit employees of one gender to certain job classifications and makes retention and promotion decisions regardless of gender;
  • Wage and benefit gaps are corrected when identified to ensure compliance with applicable anti-discrimination laws; and

In addition, employers who are required to file a federal EEO-1 report must also include a copy of their most recent EEO-1 report.

June 2021 changes

Deadline: Employers subject to the certification requirement as of March 23, 2021 must apply for an Equal Pay Registration Certificate between March 24, 2022 and March 23, 2024. Employers covered who obtain authorization to do business in Illinois after March 23, 2021, must apply for certification within 3 years of start of operations, but not before January 1, 2024. Recertification must take place every 2 years.

Requirements of the certification application: Covered employers must also submit a list of “payroll records” of all employees during the past calendar year, categorized by the county in which the employee works, gender and race / ethnicity with corresponding wages paid to each employee during this period, the employee’s start date with the company, and “any other information that the Department [of Labor] deems necessary to determine whether pay equity exists. Employers with less than 100 employees must certify that they are exempt from the requirements.

Compensation approach: The original legislation required employers to provide IDOL with the “system” used to set pay and required employers to choose from certain options (eg market-based, pay for performance, internal analysis, etc. .). Under the new changes, the employer is required to describe the “approach” used to determine wages, but the employer is not required to choose from a specific system. Instead, the law states that “acceptable approaches include, but are not limited to, a survey of wages and salaries.”

Penalties: The March changes provided that employers who fail to comply with certification requirements or provide false information to IDOL would be subject to a non-discretionary fine of 1% of their annual gross profits. Now the law authorizes a fine of $ 10,000 for violating the requirements of the Equal Pay Certificate.

Grace period : There is now a 30-day grace period for an employer to correct an inadvertent failure to file a timely application or remedy deficiencies in the certification application.

Third party access: A current employee of a Covered Employer may request “anonymized” data regarding their specific job classification, including their rate of pay / salary. “Personally Identifiable Information” will not be the subject of FOIA requests. The June amendments provide penalties for IDOL employees who have disclosed confidential app information – but IDOL is allowed to share aggregated data and “individually identifiable information” with the Department of Human Rights. IL man or the IL Attorney General’s office.

Side note: On June 28, 2021, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it was extending the July 19, 2021 deadline to submit and certify the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 reports Component 1 to Monday 23 August 2021.

Our recommendations to employers remain the same as those set out in our March 23 blog post:

  • Review and, if necessary, modify equal pay policies that demonstrate a commitment to IEPA compliance.
  • Check annually that equal pay is being respected. This includes creating strong / reliable compensation systems that comply with the law (base salary, benefits, commission programs and bonus opportunities).
  • Update job descriptions annually. Focus not only on the job titles, but also on the actual job duties, responsibilities and qualifications.
  • Evaluate performance reviews. These continue to be the “kiss of death” for many employers as very few reviewers are willing to be honest and direct.
  • Consider partnering with credible third parties to help design and implement compensation systems to comply with all applicable anti-discrimination laws.


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