On Sept 29, 2019, Illinois will join a growing list of states and municipalities in prohibiting employers from inquiring about an applicant’s previous employment compensation. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed this amendment to the Illinois Equal Pay Act on July 31st, 2019. The amendment will apply to all Illinois employers.

What does this mean for SafeScreener.com clients and Illinois employers in general?

If you are an employer located in Illinois, you will need to refrain from asking job applicants to disclose their previous salary on a job application, in an interview, or on a background check. The reasoning behind this is to protect applicants, especially women, who may have been under-compensated in their last job position in comparison to men conducting the same job. It’s intended to break the cycle of lower pay at one job carrying over to lower pay in the next job.

What is permitted?

Employers are allowed to discuss the applicant’s expectations to wage or salary, even before the actual wages are disclosed. If an applicant voluntarily discloses their current or prior wages the employer must not use that information to determine the applicant’s future compensation or benefits. To view the amendment in its entirety, click here.

Our Role…

To help our Illinois clients maintain compliance, we will be removing salary-related questions from our electronic background screening surveys prior to September 29th. If you have questions or concerns requiring this change, please contact us at bjones@safescreener.com or call 888-578-8600 x113. We’re here to help!


Brad Jones is President of Background Screening Consultants LLC (DBA SafeScreener.com), an applicant background screening agency in Chicago. Brad has worked with hundreds of corporations, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies to establish FCRA compliant applicant screening protocols since 1996. Prior to being fully engaged with the background screening industry, Brad specialized in fraud investigations and complex due diligence related to corporate acquisitions. Brad is an active member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners as well as a Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce member, serving on the Health and Wellness Coalition as well as the Workplace Well-Being Committee.  Brad can be reached at bjones@safescreener.com or 312.985.5010 x113

Please note: Any person or entity utilizing a third party to conduct applicant background checks for employment or leasing purposes must follow applicable federal and state laws including but not limited to EEOC Title VII, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and all applicable state laws.  Articles, blogs, newsletter and other materials issued by Brad Jones or any employee of Background Screening Consultants LLC (DBA SafeScreener.com) should not be regarded as, or substituted for, legal advice.