Massachusetts Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

Massachusetts Discrimination: What you need to know

The Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) prohibits employment practices that discriminate against applicants or employees 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 (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 151B §1et seq.). The FEPA requires employers to provide a reasonable accommodation to employees and prospective employees for pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions.
The FEPA covers all public employers and private employers with six or more employees, including employment agencies and labor unions.
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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 §3.01(4)(a)(5)).
Under the FEPA, it is unlawful for an employer to:
• Refuse to hire or employ or to bar or discharge from employment based on a protected characteristic.
• Discriminate against an individual in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).
• Print or circulate any statement, advertisement, or publication or to use any form of application for employment or to make any inquiry or record in connection with employment that expresses any limitation, specification, or discrimination as to a protected characteristic, unless based on a BFOQ.
• Discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against any person for opposing any practices forbidden under the FEPA or ...

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