As part of a growing effort nationwide to improve pay equality between men and women, applicants for jobs in Chicago can no longer be asked about their salary history. An executive order recently signed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel comes as Illinois lawmakers consider two competing pieces of legislation that aim to close the wage gap by prohibiting employers from asking job candidates what they had earned in the past. Emanuels order prohibits city departments from requesting or seeking out a candidates salary history, and from screening applicants based on their prior wages, benefits or other compensation. It also calls on the citys sister agencies, like the Chicago Park District, Chicago Transit Authority and Chicago Public School, to enact similar prohibitions. Although many states have signed similar orders, others, such as Michigan, are pushing back. The states governor signed a bill to block local governments from prohibiting employer questions about salaries.