Olsen Supports Bill to Help Close Gender Pay Gap

State Representative David S. Olsen joined a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers on Wednesday in approving legislation that should help close the gender pay gap that exists between men and women in the Illinois workplace.

HB 2462 would strengthen the existing Equal Pay Act of 2003 by prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about their previous salary history, including benefit and other compensation costs. “In spite of steps that have been taken over time to ensure equal pay in the workplace, statistics show women still make less as compared to their male counterparts,” said Olsen. “When women look for new employment, disclosing this lower rate of pay only exacerbates the problem.”

According to Olsen, the Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from discriminating between employees on the basis of sex for issues such as hiring or firing. The Act is enforced by the Department of Labor, and while the 2003 law closed the wage gap to a degree, a disparity still exists. “It makes no sense that in 2017 women are still not earning an identical wage for doing comparable work,” Olsen said. “We need to be doing whatever we can to even the playing field and close the wage gap once and for all.”

The vote of approval for HB 2462 was 91-24. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

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