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State

State agencies can’t ask for salary history

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed an executive order forbidding state agencies from asking job applicants how much money they earned in previous jobs, a rule that will likely be extended to all employers in the state by year’s end.

The Democrat’s signing of the order Tuesday, his first day as governor, was opposite the stance taken by his predecessor, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who twice vetoed legislation that sought to ban salary history questions during the hiring process. Numerous states have approved such bans, often termed No Salary History laws, in hopes of narrowing the gender pay gap.

State Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin, who sponsored the vetoed legislation, said in a Facebook post that she plans to reintroduce a bill again this year. Pritzker has pledged to sign it after it passes the General Assembly, she said.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel last year issued an executive order prohibiting city departments from asking or seeking out a candidate’s prior wage.

Women’s advocacy groups say basing a new hire’s salary on previous compensation perpetuates disparities in pay between men and women, who may have been underpaid in the past. Women also tend to work in lower-paying jobs and are more likely than men to take time off or reduce hours to care for children or other family members, which affects prior salary levels.

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