State law prohibits an employer from asking about a job applicant’s race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy or a condition related to said pregnancy (including lactation or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child), ancestry, status as a veteran, age (40 years and older), or handicap, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 151B Sec. 4).
The Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Law (FEPL) defines “gender identity” as a person’s gender-related identity, appearance, or behavior, regardless of whether it is different from the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth. The law covers private employers with six or more employees and all state agencies.
Retaliation prohibited. The law prohibits employers from discriminating against a person because he or she opposed an unlawful discriminatory practice, filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in any proceeding under the law.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) policy. The AIDS testing law prohibits AIDS testing by employers as a condition of employment, requires an individual’s informed consent before testing, and protects the confidentiality of results (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 111 Sec. 70F).
Genetic information. Employers are prohibited from using genetic information in making decisions relating to a prospective employee, and should take precautions to ensure that genetic information is not inadvertently provided as part of a postoffer medical examination required by the employer. Employers may not require or induce employees to disclose genetic information or submit to genetic testing (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 151B Sec. 1).
The federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)