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Massachusetts enacts “An Act to Establish Pay Equity”

On August 1, 2016, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill amending the Commonwealth’s Equal Pay Act. The purpose of the new law is to ensure that all workers in Massachusetts are paid equally for comparable work performed and to provide the opportunity to earn competitive salaries in the workplace.  This new law imposes strict equal pay obligations on employers and limits certain information employers can request regarding the salary history of job applicants.  Below is a summary of the new law and recommended steps for employers.

SUMMARY OF MASSACHUSETTS EQUAL PAY ACT

The law requires employers to pay men and women equally when their work is “comparable,” (i.e., when the work is “substantially similar” in skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions). Employers must post about an employee’s rights under the law.