Dupage Policy Journal

Dupage Policy Journal

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Grant's bill aims to close gender wage gap


By Glenn Minnis | Sep 5, 2019

Illinois state Rep. Amy Grant (R-Wheaton) | repgrant.com

First-term Illinois state Rep. Amy Grant (R-Wheaton) is doing all she can to close the gender wage gap in the workplace.

“Nationally, on average, women earn just 79 cents for every dollar earned by a man,” Grant, co-sponsor of a recently enacted bill that prohibits employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s salary history, said in a press release. “In Illinois, our salary numbers align with this national average. While we have existing laws in this country that prohibit employers from paying one individual less than another based solely on issues such as gender, religion, etc., that law does not always translate into practice.”

Following in the footsteps of legislation recently enacted in Massachusetts, House Bill 834 takes aim at a longtime discrepancy where women, on average, earn roughly just four-fifths of what a man earns for the same job.

“Through HB 834, we have an opportunity in Illinois to level the playing field for women and create true salary equity in the workplace,” Grant said. “Illinois women will enjoy greater protections based on the Massachusetts model, because when they apply for jobs, their former salaries cannot be used as a basis for them to earn less than others performing similar work.”

The last several weeks have been a busy, albeit productive, time for Grant, who also recently joined with fellow conservative lawmakers in pushing for the repeal of House Bill 3850, which creates the Illinois Abortion Law of 2019 and makes abortion “a fundamental right” in the state.

Known as the Reproductive Health Act (RHA), HB 3850 also includes provisions defining "viability to include when in the medical judgment of the attending physician based on the particular facts of the case before the attending physician, the unborn child has a fetal heartbeat, and defining fetal heartbeat as the cardiac activity or the steady and repetitive rhythmic contraction of the fetal heart within the gestational sac."

Joining Grant in backing Fetal Heartbeat legislation instead are state Reps. Allen Skillicorn (R-Crystal Lake), Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) and Chris Miller (R-Oakland).

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