Illinois has followed the lead of a number of other states in amending its equal pay law to go beyond the requirements of the federal Equal Pay Act, which prohibits pay discrimination based on sex. Unlike any other state equal pay law that we are aware of, however, the newly amended Illinois law extends coverage beyond sex only to African American employees. While a few states such as California and New Jersey have amended their laws to extend protection based on race generally, the Illinois law expansion is explicit to African Americans only.

In an interesting twist, outgoing Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner had vetoed this legislation with the caveat that he would sign the bill if it was amended to cover all racial and ethnic protected classes, not just African Americans. Nevertheless, the Democrat-dominated state legislature proceeded to override the Governor’s veto by an overwhelming margin.

The text of the amendment is available here.

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.