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Deadline Passes for Illinois Equal Pay Registration Certificate Applications
Monday, April 1, 2024

Back in 2021, the Illinois General Assembly amended the state’s Equal Pay Act (the “Amendment”) to include a new certification requirement for Illinois employers. Upon passage of the Amendment, covered Illinois employers were required to apply for and receive an Equal Pay Registration Certificate from the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL).

In the three years since the Amendment became effective, employers across the state of Illinois have applied for and received certificates. Those who have already applied did so just in time — the deadline to file an initial application for a certificate passed last week, on March 23, 2024.

Which Employers Must Apply, and How Often Must They Recertify?

These registration requirements only apply to large Illinois employers — that is, employers with 100 or more employees in the state of Illinois and who are required to file an annual EEO-1 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

As for the deadline to apply, employers who were transacting business in the state as of March 23, 2021, were required to apply by March 23, 2024. Employers who began transacting business in Illinois after March 23, 2021, have three years from the time their business in Illinois commenced to file an application with IDOL. In either case, employers must recertify every two years. If an employer no longer has 100 or more employees when it is time to recertify, the employer must certify to IDOL in writing that it is exempt.

How Do Employers Apply?

Any failure by IDOL to alert an employer to its requirement to apply does not exempt the business from its duty to receive a certificate. If an employer has not already been contacted by IDOL with instructions to apply, it may provide its contact information through IDOL’s web form.

Covered employers may apply online through IDOL’s web portal. In its application materials, an employer must include:

  • A $150 filing fee;
  • An equal pay compliance statement certifying that the business is in compliance with the Equal Pay Act and other relevant laws, among other things; and
  • Wage records listing all employees during the past calendar years and including information such as gender, race, and ethnicity; the county in which the employee works; employee start date; the employee’s total wages; and any other information IDOL deems necessary.

IDOL will issue an Equal Pay Registration Certificate, or a rejection of the employer’s application, within 45 calendar days of receipt of the application. Employers whose applications are rejected have 30 days to cure and resubmit a revised application.

What Are the Consequences for Failing to Apply?

Employers who are required to submit an application or recertify for an Equal Pay Registration Certificate and fail to do so may be fined up to $10,000. However, before imposing a penalty, IDOL will allow employers that fail to file an application or recertification 30 calendar days to submit the required information.

As the initial deadline to apply has already passed, businesses that are subject to the Equal Pay Registration Certificate requirements and have not yet applied must do so as soon as possible. Employers should consult with counsel if they have questions as to the application process or broader compliance with the Equal Pay Act.

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