The Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) prohibits discrimination in employment based on race or color (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 151B Sec. 1et seq.). The FEPA covers all public employers and private employers with six or more employees. Under the FEPA, it is unlawful for an employer to:
• Refuse to hire or employ or to bar or discharge from employment any individual because of race or color.
• Discriminate against an individual in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of race or color, unless based upon 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 race or color, unless based on a BFOQ.
• Discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against any person because they have opposed any practices forbidden under the FEPA or because they have filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in any proceeding under the FEPA.
• Coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with another person in the exercise of any right protected by the FEPA, or to do the same to any other person for having aided or encouraged a person to exercise his or her rights under the FEPA.
• Aid, abet, incite, compel, or coerce any of the acts forbidden under the FEPA or to attempt to do so.
Contractor liability. A Massachusetts appeals court has ruled that a contractor was directly liable to the employee of a subcontractor because the contractor had notice of the employee's race harassment claim but failed to take sufficient corrective action (Thomas O'Connor ...