ROCKFORD — This week state leaders passed a Pay Transparency Bill. It would require businesses with 15 or more employees to include pay range amounts on job postings beginning January 2025.
If this bill gets signed by Governor Pritzker, lawmakers and advocates think big changes would come to Illinois.
“I could afford to buy things that I need.. and even help with my retirement.,” says Dorothy Reddic who lives in Rockford. She says as a black woman who is often underpaid, this step toward equal pay would help her better afford things like housing and other essentials.
“We don’t have to guess whether or not we’re being treated fairly or compensated fairly. We’ll be able to see what the actual pay scale is. And that way we can ensure our rights are being protected.”
This has been a passion project for the group ‘Women Employed’ who’ve fought half a century for reform.
Sharmili Majmudar, Executive Vice President of Policy, Programs, and Research believes this will change things for the better.
“When employers aren’t transparent about pay, gender and racial wage gaps widen, and women and people of color are most likely to lose out,” she explains.
She says women who work full time year round make 80 cents compared to every dollar a non-hispanic white man earns.
“Dollars and cents may not sound large, but when you add that up, you start to see how this is a problem,” says Majmudar.
Sponsors of the bill say in Illinois, closing the gender wage gap would translate into a 16% increase in women’s earnings, totaling $20.5 billion, a huge boost for the state’s economy.
“Closing the gender wage gap and equal pay are not nice to have, they are an economic and justice imperative to women and people of color in Illinois, but also to the economy in Illinois,” Majmudar adds.
The bill now heads to Governor Pritzker’s desk. If signed it would add Illinois to the list of states with pay transparency laws in place, including California, Colorado, New York, and Washington.
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May 19, 2023 at 10:47PM