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Key women leaders urge an override of Governor's veto

10/3/2018, noon | Updated on 10/3/2018, noon

Key women leaders urge an override of Governor's veto

Key women leaders from around Illinois united recently to urge an override of the Governor's veto of new protections for fair treatment for women in the workplace, after he vetoed a similar proposal last year.

Lawmakers who sponsored House Bill 4163 led a Chicago news conference recently at the James R. Thompson Center to explain their support for creating wage equity in Illinois.

The bill was sponsored by state Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin, in the Illinois House and state Sen. Cristina Castro, D-Elgin, in the Illinois Senate in this past spring legislative session. It cleared both houses, but Gov. Rauner vetoed the bill recently mirroring his comments from last year. Lawmakers originally held the bill from his consideration in order to give him more time to carefully review HB 4163 and reconsider his veto last year of the bill that aims to protect women by making it illegal for employers to ask applicants about their previous salary history.

That information can be used to prevent new hires from making a fair wage, if they had received lower wages previously, according to a press release.

“Lawmakers have shown for two years now they understand this issue, with bipartisan support for House Bill 4163,” Moeller said. “It’s simply wrong for employers to use past wages to put workers at a disadvantage when they are hired, and women – especially minority women – bear the biggest brunt of this discriminatory practice. I had hoped the Governor would reconsider his position and stand with women, but it's clear we need to override him and put these protections in place ourselves.”

“We decided to hold the bill in the Senate for a few extra weeks this summer so the Governor could better understand the issue,” Castro said. “I am frustrated that he cannot recognize there is no place for discrimination

in the workplace. Workers deserve better, women deserve better – Illinois deserves better. Enact House Bill 4163 into law during the veto session and let’s send the right message.”

"HB 4163 would provide women added protections to ensure pay equity. Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto language would allow employers who discriminate to escape liability,” said Wendy Pollack, Women’s Law and Policy Intitative Director for the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. “Governor Rauner's amendatory veto of HB4163 undermines the existing IL Equal Pay Act that is intended to reduce the wage gap. In addition, his proposed No Salary History amendment would give employers an exception that allows them to ask about previous salary after extending an offer to

an applicant - why, so they can then lower what they offered her?” said Melissa Josephs, Director of Equal Opportunity Policy for Women Employed.