The Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) prohibits hiring practices that discriminate based on race; color; religious creed; national origin; sex; gender identity; sexual orientation; genetic information; pregnancy or related conditions, including lactation or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child; ancestry; status as a veteran; age (40 years and older); military status; or handicap unless the characteristic is a bona fide occupational qualification.
The FEPA applies to all public employers and to private employers with six or more employees (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 151B Sec. 1 et seq.).
Marital status. State regulations prohibit employers from making any distinction between married and unmarried women that is not made between married and unmarried men, and vice versa (804 MA Admin. Code Sec. 3.01(4)(a)(5)).
Wage or salary history. State law prohibits employers from seeking the wage or salary history of any job applicant from the applicant or from any current or former employer; however, the law does not prohibit a prospective employee from voluntarily disclosing his or her wage or salary history. A prospective employer may require a job applicant to confirm prior wages or salary or to permit the prospective employer to do so if the job applicant has voluntarily disclosed such information; or the employer has extended an offer of employment with compensation to the applicant.
Medical exams. The FEPA prohibits an employer from requiring a medical examination of a job applicant unless the employer has made a conditional job offer. The Act allows an employer to condition an offer of employment on the results of a medical examination. However, the exam may be conducted only to ...