Massachusetts Equal Pay/Comparable Worth laws & HR compliance analysis

Massachusetts Equal Pay/Comparable Worth: What you need to know

The Massachusetts Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from discriminating based on gender in the payment of wages or paying any employee a salary or wage rate less than the rates paid to its employees of a different gender for comparable work (MA Stat. Ch. 149 Sec. 105A et seq.).
Retaliation is prohibited against employees who make complaints under the Act, communicate with coworkers about a violation of the Act, testify or participate in an administrative or judicial investigation or proceeding regarding an alleged violation. or inform another person of his or her rights under the Act.
“Comparable work” is defined as work that requires substantially similar skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions. “Working conditions” includes the environmental and other similar circumstances customarily taken into consideration in setting salary or wages, including reasonable shift differentials, and the physical surroundings and hazards encountered by employees performing a job.
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Wage differentials are permitted when based on a difference in seniority.
Under the Act, variations are permitted if based on:
• A system that rewards seniority with the employer; provided, however, that time spent on leave due to a pregnancy-related condition and protected parental, family and medical leave, shall not reduce seniority;
• A merit system;
• A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, sales, or revenue;
• The geographic location in which a job is performed;
• Education, training, or experience to the extent such factors are reasonably related to the particular job in question; or
• Travel, if the travel is a regular and necessary condition of the ...

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