Illinois Equal Wage Act Protection: Any employer may not pay an unequal wage for equal work, by time or piece work, than is being paid to any other person employed in the manufacture of any article on the basis of difference in sex. 820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 110/1.
Coverage: Applies to any employer of 6 or more persons in the State engaged in the manufacture of any article. 820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 110/1.
Remedies: Any employer who pays any person an unequal wage for equal work on the basis of difference in sex shall be guilty of a petty offense and shall be fined not less than $25 no more than $100. 820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 110/1. Illinois Wages of Women and Minors Act Protection: It is against public policy for any employer to employ any woman in an occupation in Illinois at an oppressive and unreasonable wage. 820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 125/2 . “An oppressive and unreasonable wage” means a wage which is both less than the fair and reasonable value of the services rendered and less than sufficient to meet the minimum cost of living necessary for health. 820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 125/1.
Coverage: No specific provision detailing what employers are covered.
Remedies: Any employer who pays or agrees to pay a woman less than the rates applicable under a mandatory minimum fair wage order shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor and each week in any day of which such employee is paid less than the rate applicable under a mandatory minimum fair wage order and each employee so paid less shall constitute a separate offense. 820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 125/15(2).
Illinois Human Rights Act Protection: It is a civil rights violation for any employer to act with respect to recruitment, hiring, promotion, renewal of employment, selection for training or apprenticeship, discharge, discipline, tenure or terms, privileges or conditions of employment on the basis of unlawful discrimination. 775 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-102(A). While the statute does not specifically mention compensation, federal courts and Illinois state courts have allowed plaintiffs to bring sex discrimination claims for unequal compensation under the Illinois Human Rights Act. (See, e.g., Sokn v. Fieldcrest Comm. Unit Sch. Dist. No. 8, 2011 WL 2533793, at *7 (C.D. Ill. June 27, 2011); Northtown Ford v. Ill. Human Rights Comm’n, 525 N.E.2d 1215, 1221 (Ill. App. Ct. 1988) (“Generally, it is illegal for an employer to pay disparate wages or salaries for jobs held by persons of different sexes if the jobs require equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and are performed under similar circumstances.”)).
Coverage: Applies to any person employing 15 or more employees within Illinois during 20 or more calendar weeks within the calendar year of or preceding the alleged violation; also applies to the State of Illinois and any political subdivision, municipal corporation, or other governmental unit or agency, without regard to the number of employees. 775 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-101(B)(1)(a), (c). Applies to any party to a public contract or a joint apprenticeship or training committee without regard to the number of employees. 775 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-101(B)(1)(d)-(e). Does not apply to any religious corporation, association, educational institution, society, or non-profit nursing institution conducted by and for those who rely upon treatment by prayer through spiritual means in accordance with the tenets of a recognized church or religious denomination with respect to employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, association, education institution, society, or non-profit nursing institution of its activities. 775 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-101(B)(2).
Remedies: Upon finding a civil rights violation, the Commission may provide for any relief including a cease and desist order, actual damages for injury or loss suffered, backpay, and attorney’s fees and costs. 775 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/8A-104(A)-(C), (G). An aggrieved party may commence a civil action, and if the court finds that a civil rights violation has occurred, the court may award the plaintiff actual and punitive damages and may allow the prevailing party, other than the State of Illinois, reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. 775 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/8A-104(A)(1), (C)(1)-(2).