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Be prepared for the new Illinois equal pay reporting and certification requirements

Susan Lorenc Chuck Poplstein Zoe Spector September 7, 2021

In 2021, Illinois has amended the Illinois Equal Pay Act (“EPA”) into law, imposing new equal pay compliance requirements on any private employer who has more than 100 employees in the State of Illinois and is required to file an Annual Employer Information Report EEO-1 with the EEOC. On June 25, 2021, Governor Pritzker signed additional amendments to the EPA into law, providing crucial updates and clarifications to the newly mandated certificate reporting requirements. 

Put briefly, the amendments altogether create new obligations for employers with more than 100 employees in Illinois to biannually report pay data, submit equal pay registration certificates, and certify compliance with the State’s equal pay laws.  

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Covered Employers who are authorized to transact business in Illinois as of March 23, 2021, must submit an application to obtain an equal pay registration certificate between March 24, 2022 and March 23, 2024, and must recertify every 2 years.
    • When an employer receives notice from the Illinois DOL to recertify for its equal pay registration certificate, if it has fewer than 100 employees, the employer must certify in writing that it is exempt.
  • To apply, employers must pay a $150 filing fee and submit wage records and an equal pay compliance statement to the Illinois Director of Labor.
    • The wage record must include a list of all employees from the prior calendar year, separated by the protected categories as reported in the employer’s most recent EEO-1 Report. In addition, the record must include the county where each employee works, the date the employee started working for the business, and total wages paid to each employee during the past calendar year, rounded to the nearest $100.
    • The compliance statement must be signed by a corporate officer, legal counsel, or authorized agent of the business, which includes a certification that the business is in compliance with the Equal Pay Act and other relevant laws, that the average compensation for its female and minority employees is not below the average compensation for its male and non-minority employees, and that the business does not restrict employees of one sex to certain job classifications.
  • Employers whose applications are rejected have 30 days to cure any deficiencies that led to the rejection.
  • Employers who violate the equal pay registration requirements will be fined up to $10,000 per employee affected once this law goes into effect.

Employers should begin preparing for these new reporting and certification requirements that will begin in 2022, and, if necessary, conduct any audits with the assistance of legal counsel that may be deemed necessary. Thompson Coburn’s employment attorneys are available to assist you with this process and provide further information and specifications regarding these new requirements.

Zoe SpectorChuck Poplstein and Susan Lorenc are attorneys in Thompson Coburn’s Labor & Employment group.