Massachusetts Pay Equity Act

Massachusetts Pay Equity Act

What Is the Massachusetts Pay Equity Act?

The Massachusetts Pay Equity Act is a law enacted to ensure equal pay for comparable work for all Massachusetts workers. The Act was signed into law on August 21, 2016, by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and will go into effect on July 1, 2018.

What Does the Act Do?

The Act does three things:

  1. It requires that employers provide equal pay for comparable work.
  2. It prohibits employers from asking job applicants about salary history, with the exceptions of when a candidate voluntarily discloses his or her pay, or the employer extends an offer of employment to the candidate.
  3. It prohibits employers from requiring that employees refrain from discussing wage information, with an exception for employees whose job it is to safeguard pay information. MIT policy (P&P 7.1.1 and 7.1.2) already prohibits any retaliation against employees for discussing their salary, and now under the new law, any adverse action by the employer will be illegal.

What Defines Comparable Work?

The Act defines comparable work as work that is “substantially similar in skill, effort, and responsibility, and (is) performed under similar working conditions.” The Act allows wage fluctuations within comparable positions based on the following criteria: seniority, merit, commissions, geography, education, training, or experience.

What Can I Do?

As a Recruiter As an HR Professional
Do not ask a candidate about salary history unless the candidate volunteers salary information or you have extended an offer of employment to the candidate. Do not prohibit employees from discussing issues of pay in the workplace, unless safeguarding compensation information is part of the employee’s job.

Where can I learn more?