What is the Illinois Equal Pay Act?
The Equal Pay Act prohibits employers with four or more employees from paying unequal wages to men and women for doing the same or substantially similar work, except if the wage difference is based upon a seniority system, a merit system, a system measuring earnings by quantity or quality of production, or factors other than gender.
Who may file an Equal Pay complaint?
An employee or former employee may file a complaint. Complaint forms are available on the Department's website or by contacting IDOL at 1-866-372-4365. The Department may also initiate an investigation.
How long do I have to file an Equal Pay complaint?
All complaints must be filed within one year from the date of the underpayment.
Can I file an anonymous Equal Pay complaint?
The identity of all employees who file Equal Pay complaints will be kept confidential with the Department. While the case is pending at the administrative level, the identity of the complainant shall be kept confidential unless the complainant requests otherwise. This confidentiality provision does not apply in cases alleging retaliatory discharge or retaliatory discrimination under the Act.
If I perform the same work as a co-worker (or former co-worker) of the opposite gender, but I am paid less, do we both have to work at the same physical location?
No. Men and women are to receive equal pay for the same or substantially similar work that is performed for the same employer, in the same county.
Can I file a complaint if my job title is different from a co-worker (or former co-worker) of the opposite gender, but we both perform the same work?
Yes. Even though the job titles held by both workers are different, the actual work performed may be the same. If this is the case, you may file a complaint and the Department will investigate.
What happens after I file an Equal Pay complaint?
After the Department determines jurisdiction, the Department shall conduct an investigation to determine whether reasonable cause exists to believe a violation under the Act has occurred. The investigation may be made by written or oral inquiry, field visit, conference or any method or combination of methods.
Do I need an attorney to file a complaint?
Are men protected under the Illinois Equal Pay Act?
Yes, men and women have equal protections under the Act.
How far back will the Equal Pay investigation cover?
The Department will review up to 3 years prior to the date the complaint was filed.