The Illinois Equal Pay Act requires all private businesses with at least 100 Illinois employees to obtain an Equal Pay Registration Certificate (EPRC) by March 23, 2024.

To obtain a certificate, businesses must pay a $150 filing fee, complete a compliance statement, and provide a wage records report containing detailed pay information.

Many businesses in Illinois have already received a notice from the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) requiring an EPRC submission before March 23, 2024. However, the Act and the IDOL’s FAQs make clear that any failure by the IDOL to assign a business an EPRC registration date does not exempt the business from completing a submission by March 23, 2024.

The first step for any businesses that have not yet submitted an application is to determine if they are implicated by the Act. The primary threshold questions are: (1) whether the business is required to file an annual Employer Information Report EEO-1 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and (2) whether the business had at least 100 employees who worked at a location in Illinois or were remote but reported directly to Illinois management on Dec. 31, 2023. Businesses that meet these threshold requirements will then need to register with the state and submit an application.

If you have questions or need assistance regarding compliance with the IEPA’s certification requirements, please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) made available on March 12, 2024, a data dashboard featuring the 2017 and 2018 EEO-1 Component 2 pay data. To protect employer and employee confidentiality, EEOC has aggregated the data. The dashboard contains aggregated employer-level workforce demographic and pay data reported by pay band. Users of the dashboard may view aggregated information by industry, job category, and core-based statistical areas (CBSA) or state.

According to EEOC’s press release, the dashboard “allows industries, employers, and individuals to assess generally how their pay by sex and race compares to others in their industry, job category, or state.”

Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney if you have any questions about this development.

Starting March 1, 2024, the City of Columbus ordinance banning inquiries into an applicant’s salary history goes into effect. This ordinance applies to all employers with 15 or more employees within Columbus. Employers that violate the ordinance could face civil fines of up to $5,000.

Covered employers should ensure that all employees involved in hiring and compensation decisions, including any outside job placement and referral agencies, are aware of this new ordinance and what information can be discussed or considered during the hiring process.

For more information on this new ordinance, read more here.

Washington, D.C. joins a growing group of states requiring employers to include projected salary ranges in job postings and to restrict the use of pay history in setting pay.

On Jan. 12, 2024, the mayor of D.C. signed the Wage Transparency Omnibus Amendment Act, which, among other things, requires private employers, regardless of size, to disclose pay ranges in all job postings and advertisements. Because the D.C. budget is controlled by Congress, the Amendment was sent to Congress for a 30-day review on Jan. 22, 2024, with a projected law date of March 9, 2024. The new law is scheduled to go into effect on June 30, 2024.

The Amendment requires employers to include in job postings the minimum and maximum projected salary or hourly wage for the position. Employers not only must disclose the projected salary in public job postings, but they also must do so in any internal job postings of the position. The Amendment also requires employers to disclose to prospective employees the existence of other benefits (such as healthcare or bonuses) before the first interview.

The Amendment prohibits employers from screening job applicants based on wage history. The Amendment does not specifically address remote positions.

Employers will be required to post a notice in the workplace notifying employees of their rights under this law. The notice must be posted in a conspicuous place in at least one location where employees congregate.

The new requirements under the Amendment will also affect the PERM labor certification process for employers sponsoring foreign nationals for “green cards.” Employers can prepare for these changes by:

  • Reviewing and modifying, as needed, all recruitment postings (both external and internal) to ensure these postings include the required salary ranges.
  • Reviewing internal interviewing protocols to ensure disclosure of benefit information upon request or before conducting a screening interview (whether by phone or in person) with an applicant for the PERM position.
  • Reviewing internal interviewing protocols to ensure no historical pay information is requested from prospective employees or from their prior employers. Indeed, this would not even be relevant because the applicant for the PERM position will know the salary range.
  • Training employees involved in the PERM process on the benefit disclosure requirements and the salary history restrictions.

The law aims to increase pay equity and to address historical wage gaps. While the law does not create a private right of action for employees, the Amendment provides the attorney general the authority to investigate violations and to bring civil actions against an employer or seek remedies on behalf of individuals or the public. Employers found to have violated the law may be subject to civil fines ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 per occurrence.

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist in navigating the many new pay transparency laws.

In recognition of the 15th anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Biden Administration has released a proposal that would prohibit federal contractors from using a job applicant’s prior salary history when setting pay and require federal contractors to post the expected salary range in its job postings. >>Learn more here.

California’s pay data reporting portal will open on February 1, 2024, and employers will be required to report on three new data points.

Since 2020, California has mandated that employers with at least 100 employees submit a pay data report to the state Civil Rights Department (CRD) as part of its efforts to advance fair pay. The reporting requires annual submissions detailing pay and hours worked for employees in California, or who are a part of a California establishment, categorized by establishment, job category, race/ethnicity, and sex.

In 2022, the reporting requirements expanded to require reporting on both “payroll employees” (workers on an employer’s payroll) and “labor contractor employees” (workers not on an employer’s payroll who are engaged in the employer’s usual course of business). That amendment also established potential penalties of $100 per employee for employers who fail to comply (or $200 per person for repeat failures).

In January 2024, California again updated its pay data reporting website for the 2024 reporting cycle.

Read the full article on Jackson Lewis’ California Workplace Law Blog.

Colorado’s revised Equal Pay Transparency Rules go into effect on January 1, 2024. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has released additional guidance following release of its final rules for implementation. The CDLE’s Interpretive Notice & Formal Opinion (INFO) #9A provides CDLE’s official opinions, expectations, and examples for employer compliance with the Rules. Topics covered by INFO #9A include required disclosures and notices, among others. Read more.

Seeking to join the growing list of jurisdictions with pay transparency obligations for employers, on December 19, 2023, the District of Columbia Council passed the Wage Transparency Omnibus Amendment Act of 2023. The bill would expand the District’s efforts to address concerns and perceptions regarding income disparities. Read more.

The Colorado Department of Labor Employment (CDLE) has issued the highly anticipated final Equal Pay Transparency (EPT) Rules and the Statement of Basis, Purpose, Specific Statutory Authority, and Findings, which seek to clarify the Colorado Ensure Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. The rules, which are largely unchanged from their proposed version, will become effective on January 1, 2024.

Under the Act, Colorado employers have an obligation to announce, post, or otherwise make known all job opportunities.

The rules attempt to clarify ambiguous provisions of the Act, as summarized below. The CDLE will be releasing further guidance in Interpretive Notice and Formal Opinion (INFO) #9A, which the CDLE website says is “coming soon.” Read more.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has issued proposed Equal Pay Transparency (EPT) Rules. The proposed rules seek to clarify Colorado’s Ensure Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. The Act, which goes into effect January 1, 2024, amended Colorado’s pay transparency statute. A public hearing on the proposed rules is scheduled for October 30, 2023. If adopted, the proposed rules also will become effective on January 1, 2024.

The proposed rules attempt to clarify ambiguous provisions of the Act, as summarized below.

Career Development: Under the Act, the obligation for employers to announce, post, or otherwise make known job opportunities does not apply to “career developments.” The Act defines career development as a “change to an employee’s terms of compensation, benefits, full-time or part-time status, duties, or access to further advancement in order to update the employee’s job title or compensate the employee to reflect work performed or contributions already made by the employee.” The proposed rules clarify that such existing work or contributions must be part of the employee’s existing job and are not within a position with a current or anticipated vacancy.

Career Progression: Similarly, career progressions, defined as “regular or automatic movement from one position to another based on time in a specific role or other objective metrics,” are also excepted from the definition of “job opportunity.” For these positions, employers must disclose and make available to all “eligible employees” the requirements for career progression, along with each position’s terms of compensation, benefits, full-time or part-time status, duties, and access to further advancement. “Eligible employees” are “those in the position that, when the requirements in the notice are satisfied, would move from their position to the other position listed in the notice as a ‘career progression.’”

Application Deadlines: The Act requires that job postings include the date the application is anticipated to close. This has led to confusion about evergreen job postings and how to comply when an application deadline is extended. To answer these questions, the proposed rules provide two exceptions to the deadline requirement. First, if there is no deadline because the employer accepts applications on an ongoing basis, the application must say so, and a deadline need not be included. Second, a deadline may be extended so long as (1) the original deadline was a good-faith expectation or estimate of what the deadline would be and (2) the posting is promptly updated when the deadline is extended.

Acting, Interim, or Temporary (“AINT”) Hires: The proposed rules provide that no immediate job opportunity posting is required to fill a position on an AINT basis for up to nine months where: (1) the position needs immediate hire in an AINT role; (2) the AINT hiring is not expected to be permanent, and if the hire may become permanent, the required job opportunity posting must be made in time for employees to apply for the permanent position; and (3) the position was not held any time in the preceding 12 months by another AINT hire for which there was no job opportunity posting. The proposed rules modified the duration of an AINT role from six to nine months.

Post-Selection Notice to Employees: After a candidate is selected for a job opportunity, the Act requires employers to distribute a post-selection notice to “employees with whom the employer intends the selected candidate to regularly work.” This requirement created confusion in determining the employee population who needs to receive this notice and the method of notice. The proposed rules address both points. Under the proposed rules, the term “work with regularly” means “employees who, as part of their job responsibilities, either (1) collaborate or communicate about their work at least monthly, or (2) have a reporting relationship (i.e., supervisor or supervisee).” Employers may comply by providing notice “to a broader range of, or all, employees.” In addition, employers may comply by providing the post-selection notice of either (1) each individual selection or (2) multiple selections, as long as the notice is provided no later than 30 days after any selection in the notice.

Geographic Limits: The proposed rules establish that the notice requirements for pre-selection, post-selection, and career progression do not apply to employees entirely outside Colorado.

Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney if you have any questions about these developments.