February 2022: Illinois Equal Pay Obligations

15 Feb


Update Applicable to:
All employers with more than 100 employees in the state of Illinois

What happened?
On January 25, 2022, the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) sent out additional communications regarding the upcoming Illinois Equal Pay Registration Certificate (EPRC) obligations. 

What are the details?
On March 23, 2021, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act (the Act) and other laws.  Those amendments required covered employers to obtain an EPRC every two years and include EEO-1-type diversity data in an annual report to the Illinois Secretary of State.

The Act was further amended on June 25, 2021. Per the second set of amendments, covered employers that were authorized to transact business in Illinois as of March 23, 2021, must submit an EPRC application to the IDOL between March 24, 2022, and March 23, 2024.  Those employers so authorized only after March 23, 2021, must submit an EPRC application within three years of commencing business operations but not before January 1, 2024. 

Of note, the amendments direct the IDOL to assign employers a deadline by which to submit their application, meaning that a covered employer may be required to submit on the earliest date provided above for its business, depending on when it was first authorized to transact business in Illinois.
The most recent amendments further expand on the information employers must submit with their EPRC applications.  At the outset, employers must submit:

  • A copy of their most recently filed EEO-1 report; and
  • a list of all employees employed during the past calendar year (separated by gender, race, and ethnicity), each employee’s start date, the total wages paid to each employee during the past calendar year, and any additional information deemed necessary by the IDOL to determine if pay equity exists.  Notably, “wages” include any pay owed to an employee pursuant to an employment contract or agreement and can include salaries, bonuses, and commissions.  

Covered employers must also submit a signed statement certifying that the employer is in compliance with the Act and other relevant anti-discrimination laws, and that:

  • the average compensation for female and minority employees is not consistently below the average compensation for male and non-minority employees within each of the major EEO-1 job categories for which the employee is expected to perform work;
  • employees of one sex are not restricted to certain job classifications; 
  • retention and promotion decisions are made absent consideration of sex; 
  • the employer corrects wage and benefit disparities when identified; 
  • the frequency of which wages and benefits are evaluated; and
  • the approach the employer takes when evaluating the wages and benefits that will be paid.

Failure to obtain an EPRC as required may result in a penalty of up to $10,000, although employers have up to 30 days to submit a revised EPRC application if their application is found to be deficient and may appeal the IDOL’s deficiency findings.  

For more information, please see the links below:

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above, evaluate their pay practices, and remedy any pay inequities before their EPRC applications are due.