Massachusetts Selection and Testing laws & HR compliance analysis

Massachusetts Selection and Testing: What you need to know

The Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, ancestry, status as a veteran, age (40 years and older), military status, or handicap (including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)), unless the protected characteristic constitutes a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ), i.e., is necessary in order to perform the job in question. In addition, employers are prohibited from printing or circulating any job notice or advertisement, making any preemployment inquiry, or using any employment application that indicates a discriminatory limitation or specification, unless the limitation or specification is based on a BFOQ. FEPA’s prohibitions apply to all public employers and private employers with six or more employees (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 151B Sec. 1 et seq.).
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Employers may generally give and act upon the results of any professionally developed aptitude test as long as the test is not designed, intended, or used to discriminate against a protected individual or class of individuals.
Under Massachusetts law (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 149 Sec. 19B), employers are prohibited from requiring employees or job applicants to submit to a lie detector test as a condition of employment.
The Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits employers from requesting information, keeping records, or otherwise discriminating against an applicant or employee based on the nondisclosure of an arrest record that did not result in a conviction, or in ...

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