State of Massachusetts Passes Strict Equal Pay Legislation


A-Check Global recently shared Salary History Restrictions information about the push for equal pay in numerous states throughout the country. Of the states mentioned, Massachusetts has proven itself to be the state with the most stringent legislation thus far.


Massachusetts is the first state to outwardly ban employers from making salary inquiries in the hiring process. The new legislation, slated to take effect in 2018, prohibits employers from asking about salary history prior to extending an offer; making it arguably one of the most groundbreaking equal pay laws in the United States.


Additionally, according to a press release released on the Official Website of the Governor of Massachusetts:


The new law will prevent pay discrimination for comparable work based on gender. The bill allows employees to freely discuss their salaries with coworkers, prohibits employers from requiring applicants to provide their salary history before receiving a formal job offer and authorizes the Attorney General to issue regulations interpreting and applying the expanded law. 


Like laws, acts and amendments in other states, the Massachusetts law also prohibits pay differentials for comparable work and limits acceptable factors employers may use to explain differences in compensation. However, unlike California and New York laws, Massachusetts will only permit employers to cite geographic location as justification of wage differentials.


The new law, which seems to have been on the horizon since 1998, is being considered a major win for Massachusetts politicians across partisan lines. For employers, however, it is a slightly different story.


The new law will require employers to re-evaluate and adjust numerous aspects of their hiring and employment practices – from removing application questions to ensuring they are not passively suggesting that employees refrain from discussing salaries – employers have work to do.


It is important for employers to understand how these changes affect their business. It is equally important for them to work to implement any/all changes prior to the 2018 effective date.


Employers are solely responsible for ensuring they are in compliance with all federal, state and local laws such as those mentioned above. For more information on these laws, and the effect on your organization’s policies and practices, please consult your legal counsel. A-Check Global provides legal and legislative content for general information purposes only.


A-Check Global strives to provide resources regarding current and pending local, statewide and federal laws which may impact employment screening. For more information on how current or pending legislation may affect your employment screening programs, please contact A-Check Global through our contact page, or by phone at 877-345-2021.


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