The Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of national origin. Practices that discriminate against immigrants who are legally eligible to work may constitute national origin bias within the meaning of the Act. The Act covers employers with six or more employees (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 151B Sec. 1 et seq.).
Citizenship requirements that are made a condition of employment discriminate on the basis of national origin in violation of the state law. Inquiries about a person's citizenship or country of birth are unlawful and imply discrimination on the basis of national origin.
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination enforces the Fair Employment Practices Act. The Commission is authorized to initiate, receive, and investigate discrimination complaints; issue subpoenas; hold hearings; issue administrative orders and decisions; and seek court action for compliance.
Remedies may include hiring, reinstatement, promotion, back pay, and legal fees. A victim of illegal discrimination may also, in certain circumstances, file a private lawsuit in state court to enforce rights under the Act.