Illinois Equal Pay Registration Certificate Deadline is March 23

By Sally Makreff and Bill Osterndorf

Employers subject to the Equal Pay Registration Certificate (EPRC) portion of the Illinois Equal Pay Act must submit application materials to the State of Illinois by March 23, 2024, to obtain an EPRC. The Equal Pay Act requires that covered employers register with the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL). IDOL was tasked with providing covered employers with a date to submit application materials. However, a recent FAQ from IDOL states that all covered employers must submit application materials by March 23, 2024, even if there was no notice from IDOL. 

Final administrative rules regarding the EPRC provide guidance on which employers are covered by the EPRC requirements. Employers that file the federal EEO-1 report and have 100 or more employees who are either based in Illinois or who report to a location based in Illinois must obtain an EPRC. 

The Equal Pay Act states that employers may be fined up to $10,000 for a violation of the EPRC sections of the statute. The statute also says that an employer that “inadvertently fails to file an initial application [for an EPRC]…shall be provided 30 calendar days by [IDOL] to submit the application.” It is not clear whether the failure to register for the EPRC and lack of notice from IDOL about a filing date would be considered an inadvertent failure to file. 

As the due date to submit the application for the EPRC is quickly approaching, here is a review of what employers need to know about the application process, the requirements for obtaining the EPRC, and the pay analyses associated with the EPRC.   

Registration and Application

  • Employers must create an Illinois Public ID Account. The login credentials used to create this account will be used to access the online portal where the application information will be uploaded. 
  • Once the Illinois Public ID account is created, IDOL should give each employer a due date by which the employer must file an EPRC application. If an employer hasn’t received a due date from IDOL, the employer is required to submit the application by March 23, 2024, via the EPRC online portal. 


Employers must submit the following information as part of the EPRC application:

  • The IDOL employee EPRC template. Information that must be included for persons employed during the relevant reporting year includes: 
    • Name 
    • Last 4-digits of social security number 
    • Demographic information on race, ethnicity, and gender
    • Wages paid to employees for the previous calendar year
      • An IDOL FAQ suggests using W2 Box 5 information for these purposes
    •  Hours worked during the previous calendar year 
    • Hire date for all employees 
    • Termination date for persons who were employed at some point during the previous calendar year but are no longer employed
    • EEO-1 job classification
    • Job title
    • County where the employee works
  • Equal Pay Registration Certificate Compliance Statement (using IDOL’s Compliance Statement Template)
  • $150.00 application fee 

For employees who have changed jobs during the previous year, the employer must provide separate lines reflecting the former and new job titles for the employee. The date of entry into the former job would be entered as the hire date, and the date the employee left the former job would be entered as the termination date. For employees who left the employer and then returned to the employer, the employer must also provide separate lines reflecting this discontinuity in employment. 

Pay Analyses 

One of the provisions in the EPRC Compliance Statement requires employers to certify that the average compensation for its female and minority employees is not consistently below the average compensation for its male and non-minority employees within each EEO-1 job category. To meet this requirement, employers should consider a review of Illinois employee pay by EEO-1 category to ensure female and minority employees are not paid below the average compensation of male and non-minority employees. 

In addition to the provision mentioned above, the EPRC Compliance Statement requires employers to comply with various federal and state equal pay laws. To meet the federal and state pay law requirements outlined in the statement, employers should consider conducting a privileged, companywide pay equity analysis. Conducting a comprehensive pay equity analysis can yield benefits beyond just meeting federal and state pay law requirements. Benefits include the following: 

  • Identifying issues with employee pay that need to be corrected prior to submission of pay data to the state of Illinois or any other governmental entity requiring pay information. 
  • Providing insights on an organization’s entire pay systems, identifying improvements to enhance fairness and promote equality. 
  • Avoiding potential pay discrimination charges that could be costly to the employer if an employee decides to take legal action. 
  • Creating trust within the organization, leading to increased employee satisfaction which will foster more employee engagement and reduce turnover. 
  • Promoting equity in pay will enhance the organization’s public image and will help to ensure that the organization is attracting the best talent. 

Action Items 

Employers subject to the reporting requirements of the EPRC should take the following steps:  

  • Register as a covered entity on the EPRC portal as soon as possible, if not already done. 
  • Submit necessary information required for the EPRC no later than March 23, 2024, if a first submission has not already been completed. 
  • Review pay by EEO-1 category for Illinois-based employees who are in the data submitted as part of the application for the EPRC. 
  • Conduct a privileged companywide pay equity analysis to ensure all compliance statement provisions are being met. 

DCI will continue to monitor developments in state pay laws as they occur.

Sally Makreff

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