┬áIllinois’ NEW Equal Pay Certification Requirements & Application Process: Is Your Organization Ready?

There are new legal burdens and mandates requiring employers with more than 100 employees in the State of Illinois to obtain an “Equal Pay Certificate” issued by the Illinois Department of Labor. Violation of this new mandate under Illinois’ Equal Pay Act will not only subject the employer to fines and penalties but will also publicly brand the employer as a violator of equal pay law. While the law is intended to help minority workers obtain better job opportunities in Illinois, the law creates new burdens on employers that will substantially change how employers recruit, hire, terminate, and pay their workers throughout Illinois.

Covered employers operating in Illinois on or before March 23, 2021, must apply to obtain an equal pay registration certificate between March 24, 2022, and March 23, 2024. That means the employer’s pay records and related compensation decisions made in 2021 or 2022 will be under the proverbial microscope. Many employers don’t even know this is now the law, and waiting until the last minute is not going to be a successful move. Covered employers that obtain authorization to do business in Illinois after March 23, 2021, must apply for certification within 3 years of commencing operations, but not sooner than January 1, 2024. Recertification must occur every 2 years.

Employee pay data by job classification, gender, race, and ethnicity (and, organized by county) must be turned over to the Illinois Department of Labor. Additionally, covered employers must also describe the “approach” used to determine their employees’ compensation. If an employer’s “approach” is not tied to what is permissible under Illinois’ Equal Pay law, that employer is going to invite a slew of problems and legal headaches.

Management-Side Labor & Employment Attorney, Jeffrey Risch, SmithAmundsen LLC, has been on the frontlines in Springfield concerning this new mandate. He is intimately familiar with the legal obligations employers now face in light of this new law, and he will walk employers through the “ins and outs” to better ensure they comply with the new legal mandates.

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