To build on the momentum surrounding women’s rights and gender injustice, State Senator Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) has taken action to end the gender wage gap that remains highly prevalent in our society. He enlisted his support as a cosponsor on a recently-filed legislative initiative to fight gender wage disparity in the workplace.
As an actionable solution, Senate Bill 2333, would make it illegal for employers to ask prospective or current employees about their previous wage or salary history.
"It is troubling that we continue to see female employees be paid less than their male counterparts performing the same work; and employers’ inquiries into salary history has proven to be one of the contributing factors,” said Nybo. “Senate Bill 2333 would protect job seekers and employees from being taken advantage of financially or held back from their earning potential. Companies should evaluate prospective employees based on experience and qualifications. If employers know what the role in the organization is worth, they should be willing to pay that amount regardless of someone’s salary history.”
More than ever, various female empowerment groups and protests are rising up to give a voice to survivors of discrimination, harassment and assault, and advocate for gender equality, including the increasingly popular #MeToo Movement, which Nybo and fellow lawmakers participated in at the Capitol on January 31. With growing support and attention on female rights, Nybo says this is the opportune time to tackle wage injustice once and for all.
“The fight for gender equality is and has been a long battle—one that these strong female rights advocates, supporters and survivors can win,” said Nybo. “I’m inspired by each and every one who is speaking out against gender discrimination; and I want to do the same. The gender wage gap is one of many injustices in the workplace that we can address here at the Capitol.”
Senate Bill 2333, filed by Chief Senate Sponsor Michael Connelly (R-Naperville), amends the Equal Pay Act of 2003 by prohibiting an employer from asking a prospective employee or the previous employer about his/her salary or benefits history. Companies who violate this rule would receive civil fines. Additionally, it encourages businesses to practice routine evaluation plans to track their pay practices and employees’ salaries, and resolve any existing gender wage disparities within their organization.