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 all public and private employers from discriminating in any way in the payment of wages as between the sexes and from paying any employee less than the rate paid to employees of the opposite sex for work of like or comparable character or work on like or comparable operations (MA Stat. Ch. 149 Sec. 105A et seq.). Retaliation against employees who make complaints under the Act or participate in the investigation or hearing of claims under the Act is prohibited.
Effective July 1, 2018, employers are prohibited from discriminating in any way on the basis of 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.
“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 amended law, 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, ...

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