Massachusetts Advertising laws & HR compliance analysis

Massachusetts Advertising: What you need to know

Massachusetts law prohibits employers with six or more employees from printing or circulating (or causing to be printed or circulated) any statement, advertisement, or publication in connection with employment, which expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification, or discrimination as to the race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, age, or genetic information or genetic ancestry, disability, or military status, unless the characteristic is a bona fide occupational qualification (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 151B Sec. 4).
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Massachusetts law prohibits employers from knowingly publishing false advertisements of employment. In addition, if the person to be employed is required to purchase a particular article of value as a condition of employment, the help-wanted ad must state that employment is contingent on the purchase and must state the purchase price of the article. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $2,000, 3 months in jail, or both (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 149 Sec. 21).
If an employer is experiencing a strike, lockout, or labor troubles among employees, an advertisement or notice of employment must state that fact as the largest printed matter in the advertisement as it is unlawful to offer employment to anyone during a strike or lockout without informing the applicant about the labor problem. Any such employer wishing to hire employees through an employment agency must first notify the agency by registered mail of the fact that a strike, lockout, or other labor trouble exists (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 149 Sec. 22).

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