It has been a busy summer at Women Employed, full of progress for working wom en. There have been so many breaking victories, we held July’s WE-Zine until today so we could bring you all the news. I n the last week alone, WE have secured to major victories that will impact millions. If you live in Chicago or Illinois, that could include YOU.

1. Governor Pritzker Signs No Salary History Into Law
If you’ve been reading WE-Zine or following us online, you know that Women Employed has worked for years to pass the No Salary History bill that will strengthen the Illinois Equal Pay Act by banning employers from asking job applicants for their salary history. That’s important because when a job offer is based on a previous salary, that can perpetuate any pay inequity a person has experienced in their career.

Earlier this year, we passed the No Salary History bill for the 3 rd time (our former governor had vetoed it twice before). Yesterday, our new governor, J.B. Pritzker, signed the bill into law, and we were proud to stand alongside him as he did it and to celebrate! It will go into effect in 60 days, and when it does, it will be illegal for employers in Illinois to inquire about your previous pay in interview or on applications. They also won’t be able to ask your current or former employers for that information.

If you attended The Working Lunch this year, you heard the story of Cassie Dennis and how questions about her salary history cost her over $300,000 . Cassie is only one of countless many who have had their career’s growth delayed due to being asked about previous pay. Now that practice will be a relic of the past. Because your salary should be based on your skills, your experience, and the requirements of the job. Period.

For more information on the ordinance, read our press release and check our op-ed in Crain’s , co-authored by our CEO Cherita Ellens and Wendy Pollack from the Shriver Center.


2. Chicago Passes Fair Workweek Ordinance
It’s becoming more and more common for employees in the food service, retail, and other industries—where women, and especially women of color, predominate—to get their schedules with only one or two days’ notice. Too often, employers require their workers to call in the day of a potential shift to find out whether or not to come into work, or send them home early without being paid for the hours they were scheduled. These practices are not only bad for working people—they are bad for the bottom line. They result in greater workforce turnover, more absenteeism, and a less productive workforce.

Women Employed has been advocating for fair schedules for a decade, and we are a member of the Fair Workweek Chicago Coalition. Last week, the Chicago City Council passed the most progressive Fair Workweek ordinance in the country, which will begin to go into effect in July of 2020. Here’s a quick list of some of the benefits of Fair Workweek:

  • No less than two weeks advance notice of schedules
  • Ten hours of rest between shifts,
  • Compensation for last-minute schedule changes
  • An offer of additional hours to part-time employees before additional part-time help is hired

For more details on the ordinance and who is covered, read our press release.

p.s. We couldn’t win these victories without support from people like YOU. Make a gift today to help us win more victories!