Massachusetts Religious Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

Massachusetts Religious Discrimination: What you need to know

The Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of a person's religious creed (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 151B, Sec. 1 et seq.). The FEPA covers all public employers and private employers with 6 or more employees. Under the FEPA, it is unlawful for an employer to:
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• Refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge from employment because of religious creed.
• Discriminate against an individual in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, 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 religious creed, unless based upon a BFOQ.
• Discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against any person because he or she has opposed any practices forbidden under the FEPA or because he or she has 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 Law or to attempt to do so.
BFOQ. Hiring an individual on the basis of religious creed is permissible where there is a BFOQ that is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the employer's business or because the differentiation is based on necessary factors other than religious creed ...

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Massachusetts Religious Discrimination Resources

Type Title
Handouts Take Action to Avoid Religious Discrimination (PDF) (Handout)
Policies Nondiscrimination
See all Religious Discrimination Resources