Rep. Long Fights for Equal Pay in the Workplace

Springfield… With the final days of session coming to a close, there is still significant legislation looming over Springfield. House Bill 2462, an amendment to the Equal Pay Act, was introduced by State Rep. Anna Moeller (D-Elgin), passed through the House a month ago and is currently up for debate in the Senate. State Representative Jerry Long (R-Streator) voted no on HB 2462 but supported a similar bill, HB 2094. Rep. Long felt that it was important to distinguish the differences between the two.
               “HB 2462 is nothing more than a political piece of legislation,” stated Rep. Long. “If the sponsor had intended to just copy the Massachusetts’ Law where the inspiration was drawn from, then Illinois employers could live with that. Unfortunately, HB 2462 has some poorly thought out provisions.
“The first of which is the fact that this legislation would ultimately let employees dictate employers’ business practices.  Secondly, and most importantly to me as a small business owner, this legislation would dramatically increases the damages available under the Illinois Equal Pay Act adding compensatory and special damages up to $10,000 against the smallest of employers. This legislation was touted as a tool to close the gender wage gap when in reality it’s all about making it easier to sue employers. HB 2462 will do nothing but send out another negative message about what a poor decision it is to invest in Illinois as a business owner.
“The legislation I sponsored, HB 2094, prohibits employers from asking about prior wage and salary history but also adopts the Massachusetts’ approach of incentivizing employers to address equal pay deficiencies. This would further equality in the workplace and give employers a reason to invest here. The legislation I chose to sponsor not only protects our female labor force, but our employers as well. We want investing in Illinois to be a sound decision for all.
“But like a lot of great legislation, HB 2094 is now dead in the Rules Committee because Speaker Madigan won’t allow it to see the light of day.
Constituents interested in this legislation or any of Rep. Long’s other bills, are urged to look on or Questions or comments can be emailed to or can be called in at (815)-510-9689.

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