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Can a Potential Employer Ask Me About Wage History in Illinois?

Can a Potential Employer Ask Me About Wage History in Illinois?

Looking for a job is nerve-wracking. You want to make the best possible impression, answering all questions honestly, but certain topics are illegal for employers to bring up under state workers’ rights laws. This is the case when it comes to your wage history. With over 30 years worth of experience, our Cook County discrimination attorney explains how wage history laws protect your rights.

Should I Answer Questions About Wage History When Looking for a Job?

In addition to questions about the position being offered and the types of tasks you will be asked to perform, one of the biggest concerns you are likely to have when interviewing for a job is in regards to the salary and benefits paid. Employers often fail to disclose this or only provide a broad range in job listings. Is it acceptable to ask about pay in an interview? Generally yes. However, it is not acceptable for the interviewer to ask about your wage history. 

Employers are prohibited from bringing up wage history under the Illinois Equal Pay Act. The law protects all workers, including both full and part-time employees, preventing prospective employers from doing the following: 

  • Requesting or requiring wage history on a job application or as a condition of your employment;
  • Requiring them to disclose benefits or other compensation paid by previous employers;
  • Screening candidates based on their prior wages, benefits, or other types of compensation received;
  • Calling or otherwise contacting former employers and asking them to disclose this information. 

How Wage History Laws Protect You

The Illinois Department of Labor advises that even if you voluntarily disclose your wage history, employers can not use it to determine your wages, benefits, or other compensation if hired by the company. The goal is to protect workers and prevent unfair treatment and discrimination in regard to equal pay. 

Unequal pay continues to be a common problem faced by people based on the following: 

  • Age;
  • Ethnicity;
  • Gender;
  • Race;
  • Religious affiliation;
  • Disabled status. 

If you are asked about your wage history or willingly disclosed it and now suspect it is being used against you, you have the right to file a complaint against the employer, who can be held liable for lost income in a claim. 

Contact Our Illinois Discrimination Attorney Today

If your rights were violated in regards to questions about wage history, reach out to The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline to discuss your options. Call or contact our Illinois employment and labor law attorney online today to request a free consultation.  

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