Illinois Equal Pay Registration Certificate

Update 5/27/2022: On May 20, 2022, Illinois released proposed regulations to Section 11 of the Equal...



Posted by Allegra Krajci on May 27 2022
Allegra Krajci

Update 5/27/2022:

On May 20, 2022, Illinois released proposed regulations to Section 11 of the Equal Pay Act, the law that requires employers to apply for an Equal Pay Registration Certificate (EPRC). These proposed regulations came out just before the first round of employers have a deadline to apply the for the EPRC. The proposed regulations included updating definitions, providing more deadlines and timelines for businesses to comply with Section 11 of the Equal Pay Act, sets requirements for employees who wish to request data, and more.

As a reminder, these are proposed regulations and they still need to go through the notice and comment period, as well as public hearings and other reviews before they can become finalized. Below are some of the notable proposed regulations.

Definitions:

Employee: The definition of employee for the EPRC is “any person performing a service for a business under the Act whose base of operations, or if there is no base of operations, the place from which the service is directed or controlled, is located within the State of Illinois; or whose base of operations or the place from which the service is directed or controlled is not in any state in which some part of the service is performed, but the individual's residence is in the State of Illinois.”

Authorized Agent: An Equal Pay Compliance Statement is a requirement for applying for the EPRC and involves an authorized agent being a possible person who certifies that statement. The definition of Authorized Agent is an “employee of a business with knowledge of pay practices and who has been designated by the corporate officers of the business to submit information to the Department as required by the Act. Authorized agent does not include any outside or third-party consultant or vendor who serves the business.”

Enrollment Form:

Businesses that were authorized to transact business in the State of Illinois on or before March 23, 2021, were expected to complete the enrollment form that informs IDOL that they are subject to Section 11 of the Equal Pay Act. The proposed regulations give a deadline of March 31, 2022, for those enrollment forms. Businesses that become authorized to transact business in Illinois on or after March 24, 2021, should submit an enrollment form by January 1st of the following calendar year.

Incomplete or Incorrect Information:

Businesses that discover they have provided incorrect or incomplete information in their application will be expected to submit a revised application with correct and complete information, with a letter explaining what information was amended. Making the corrections will not result in penalties if the original information was provided in good faith, and the business unknowingly submitted incorrect/incomplete information.

Employee Data Request:

The proposed regulations provide information about how a current employee can request anonymized pay data for their current job title/job classification. The employee must submit the request in writing to IDOL and provide their name, date of hire, job title or classification, a data timeframe they are requesting, a signed affidavit that the employee holds the specified job title at that business, and evidence that the employee currently holds that job title. If the data is requested and available, IDOL will provide current data and/or historical data up to 10 years prior of date of the request.

Bona Fide Occupational Qualification Exception:

As part of the equal pay compliance statement, businesses must certify that they do not restrict employees of one sex to certain job classifications and that they make retention and promotion decisions without regard to sex. The proposed regulations is add s that if sex is a bona fide occupational qualification, then the business must provide a list of positions and explanation for why sex is a bona fide occupational qualification for those positions.

Appeals:

The proposed regulations will give a business 14 days to appeal IDOL’s rejection of their certification/recertification. IDOL will notify the business of its decision within 30 days after receipt of the appeal. If the appeal is granted, then the business will receive the EPRC, if they are denied, the business will receive the reasonings and a date that the business must submit an amended application with the deficiencies cured. Once all deficiencies are cured, IDOL will issue the business the EPRC.

Suspension and Revocation:

The proposed regulations provided a list of reasons as to why a business may have their EPRC suspended or revoked by IDOL. A businesses EPRC may be revoked if the business fails to make good faith efforts to comply with the Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Illinois Human Rights Act, the Equal Wage Act, section 11 of the Equal Pay Act, or other relevant laws. Multiple violations of Section 11 or the other Acts mentioned above may also lead to suspension or revocation of the EPRC. Businesses that receive notice of a suspension or revocation may request a hearing to contest the decision within 20 days of the notice.

“Good faith effort” is defined as “demonstrable efforts by the business to promote pay equity and combat employment discrimination, including but not limited to, internal compensation reviews, staff training, adoption of equal opportunity policies, and evidence that such policies were enforced through evaluation, investigation, and personnel action.”

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Update 5/16/2022:

 The Illinois Department of Labor recently released a list of FAQs on their website regarding the Equal Pay Registration Certificate (EPRC) in the state. The EPRC requires private businesses with 100 or more employees in Illinois to submit demographic and wage data and certify that they are in compliance with the Equal Pay Act of 2003. Every employer that meets the law’s requirements will need to submit the initial EPRC application between March 24, 2022, and March 23, 2024. IDOL assigns an application due date within this timeframe and will notify each employer of their due date at least 120 days in advance. The first batch of employers have been notified and have a due date of May 25, 2022 or have been assigned other dates in June or July 2022. For more information, you can access the IDOL’s list of FAQs here.

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Update 3/8/2022:

The Illinois Department of Labor recently released a series of  training slides related to the new Illinois Equal Pay Registration Certificate. The slides explain how to:

  • Create an Illinois Public ID account
  • Access the Equal Pay Act Registration portal and register as a user for the first time
  • Review and update business information
  • Add employee information manually or upload a CSV file with your covered employee information
  • Upload your business’s most recently filed EEO-1 report and the required Compliance Statement
  • Certify the submission as true and accurate and pay the filing fee

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On March 23, 2021, Illinois enacted SB 1480, an amendment to the Illinois Equal Pay Act of 2003 in an effort to provide equal and fair pay to Illinoisan employees. The bill requires private businesses with 100 or more employees in the state of Illinois, who are already required to submit an EEO-1 report, to apply to the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) for an Equal Pay Registration Certification (EPRC) starting as soon as March 24th, 2022. The application includes submitting wage records on all employees located in Illinois and a signed equal pay compliance statement. Since its original enactment, amendments have been made to the senate bill to clarify some of the requirements and penalties associated with the certification.

Registering and Finding out Your Organization’s Filing Date

The first step in applying for the EPRC is for every existing covered business to provide IDOL with contact information. A press release from IDOL provides a link for businesses to enter their contact information. For newly covered businesses, they are required to provide their contact information by January 1st of the following year.

After providing the contact information, businesses will receive a 120-day advanced notice of their deadline for which they should be applying for the EPRC. The IDOL sent out the first round of notices to about 625 employers in January 2022, with reports due by May 25, 2022. IDOL will continue to send out filing notices on a rolling basis through March 2024. It is important to note that if the business is not provided a deadline from IDOL, they are not exempt from complying.

Application Requirements

  • Wage Records: Employers are required to provide IDOL with the most recently filed EEO-1 report and an Illinois-based Employee List including the following information: employee’s name, social security number, gender, race and ethnicity categories (consistent with EEO-1 report), county employee works, total wages rounded to the nearest $100, hire date, termination date, job title, and EEO-1 job classification. A template of this employee list can be found on the IDOL website.
  • Equal Pay Compliance Statement: Employers are required to provide a compliance statement on the following:
    • The business is following the Illinois Equal Pay Act and other relevant laws including but not limited to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Illinois Human Rights Act, and the Equal Wage Act.
    • The average compensation for female and minority employees is not consistently below average compensation for its male and non-minority employees within each of the major job categories in the EEO-1, considering factors such as length of service, requirements of specific jobs, experience, skill, effort, responsibility, working conditions of the job, education or training, job location, use of a collective bargaining agreement, or other mitigating factors.
    • The business does not restrict employees of one sex to certain job classifications, and makes retention and promotion decisions without regard to sex.
    • That all wage and benefit disparities are corrected when identified to ensure compliance with the Acts mentioned in (a).
    • How often the business evaluates their wages and benefits.
    • The approach the business uses to determine the level of wages and benefits to pay its employees; an acceptable approach includes but is not limited to a wage and salary survey.
  • Filing Fee: The application requires the business to pay a filing fee of $150. The fee will be deposited into the Equal Pay Registration Fund.

Once the application is submitted, IDOL will issue the EPRC or provide a rejection within 45 calendar days of receipt of application. If the application is rejected, the business will have 30 days to cure any deficiencies in the application that led to their rejection. Businesses must recertify every two years.

Falsification/Misrepresentation on the application may results in suspension or revocation of the EPRC or civil penalties up to $10,000 for the violation. It is important to note that receipt of the EPRC does not establish compliance with the Illinois Equal Pay Act.

For more information and updates, download our on-demand webinar on Illinois Pay Reporting from March 3. 

Check out our webinar on Illinois Pay Reporting

Allegra Krajci
Allegra Krajci
Allegra Krajci is a Consultant on the Compensation Services team at Berkshire Associates Inc. With a background in Industrial Organizational Psychology, Allegra uses best practices to advise clients in the area of compensation.

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