Salary Ban Hits Close to Home

By Kathryn O'Connor, PHR, SHRM-CP, CCP, GRP, Director, Compensation Services
Published April 9, 2019

Last month, the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, became the fifteenth jurisdiction to pass a salary ban law. This is the first salary ban ordinance to hit the Midwest.

question mark dollar billsSimilar to other salary bans enacted across the country, the law prohibits employers from:

  • asking job applicants for their pay history;
  • screening job applicants based on their current or prior pay rates;
  • relying on salary history when deciding to offer employment or setting/negotiating starting pay rates; or
  • refusing to hire or disfavor an applicant for failing to disclose salary information.

However, the Cincinnati pay ban has a special twist. Cincinnati is the second jurisdiction (after California) to require employers to provide applicants with a pay range for a position, upon request, after a conditional offer of employment has been made. 

What does this mean for Illinois employers? It’s yet another indication that that salary bans are building momentum across the country and, now, are particularly close to Illinois.

At this time, Illinois employers have not been impacted. However, last year, Illinois also considered such a law, but Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed the bill not once, but twice, claiming the bill still required modifications to make it more business-friendly.  

Could this bill be introduced again, potentially signed by new Governor J.B. Pritzker? Quite possibly. Therefore, Illinois employers should review their recruiting practices to examine if/how candidate pay information is currently being used. Also, Illinois employers should look at their pay practices. If a law like this was to be enacted in Illinois, do you have a current, valid pay range for each position? And is this information ready to be shared? 

As always, HR Source will stay abreast of the salary ban trend and will continue to share timely updates. Members with questions should contact the HR Hotline at 800-448-4584 or


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