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Chicago Considers Requiring Job Posts to Include Salary Ranges

Violators would face $500 to $1,000 in fines

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A Chicago ordinance could require job posts to include salary ranges.
Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

Chicago is considering fining employers $500 to $1,000 if they don’t include salary ranges in job postings.

Ald. (36th Ward) Gilbert Villegas proposed the new ordinance in February that would force all employers to post a salary range in their job posts. Villegas told the Daily Line that he hoped the measure would combat gender-based pay disparities. The measure still needs tweaks and wasn’t ready for a vote at the council’s most recent meeting on Wednesday, April 13.

Washington State and New York City have approved measures requiring ranges to be posted in listings. Other states and cities have requirements that salary ranges be revealed in interviews. This is an issue of particular concern for the restaurant industry, where, since the pandemic began, owners have had difficulty finding workers.

Several workers are fed up seeing what they perceive as incomplete listings. Many postings are hastily made without basic information such as pay, location, and hours for positions including server, bartender, and cook. The frustration has built up so much that administrators of one popular Chicago Facebook group with 37,000 members, Chicago Service Industry, have required that job listings include “relevant information including; [sic] business name, location, hours, and pay range, or be subject to removal.”

A meme posted by Ben Randall, host of the “In the Weeds” podcast.
Facebook

In January, administrator Jesse Briggs wrote, “Act like a fucking professional. Two years in and it’s time for you guys to start learning some shit or shutting your doors because we are fucking over it.”

However, not everyone adheres to those rules. Incomplete job listings are posted almost daily with group members acting as online bouncers, dragging the poster with harsh comments, memes and guilting them into following guidelines.

That’s left some would-be job posters afraid of the online wrath of the community. Some of the comments have been in good faith by industry members who don’t want their colleagues to be taken advantage by predatory employers. Other critiques have been less than helpful, with commenters donning their best troll outfits, discouraging job posters who merely want to share an opportunity with a wide audience.

This evolution in job postings has been one of the more fascinating aspects of the pandemic.

In the past, the thought was workers were desperate to find a job lead, so it didn’t take much bait to reel in a new employee. The COVID landscape has changed the environment. Job postings dwindled after stay-at-home orders in 2020, and now with COVID restrictions loosening, the job market is slowly rebounding and more jobs are available. However, a large segment of the hospitality job force has pivoted to other industries where they receive better pay and benefits. Restaurant owners have resorted to offering bonuses and other tactics to lure new employees.

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