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Total Articles: 10

Massachusetts and the Ninth Circuit: Recent Ban On Using Prior Salary as Basis for Gender Pay Gap

Executive Summary: The federal Equal Pay Act already imposes limitations on employers when it comes to compensating employees of the opposite sex for equal work. With a recent legislative change in Massachusetts and a decision earlier this month out of the Ninth Circuit, however, several jurisdictions now prohibit the use of prior salary as a justification for any pay differential between men and women.

Massachusetts Attorney General Publishes Long-Anticipated Guidance on the Revised Pay Equity Law

The Massachusetts Attorney General has recently published an Overview and Frequently Asked Questions (the “Overview”) regarding the amendment to the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act, set to take effect on July 1, 2018. The Overview answers many questions that employers have been asking about this wide-ranging new law. The Overview also confirms the importance of an employer self-evaluation, offering some direction on what types of evaluations are appropriate, and explaining how it could protect a company from liability under the law.

Massachusetts Employers Receive Guidance On Equal Pay Law

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey just issued much-anticipated and long-awaited guidance regarding the amended Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA), which is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2018. As most know by now, the law will prohibit employers from paying employees of a different gender at different rates provided they are doing “comparable work,” and will also bar inquiries about salary history. The guidance, issued on March 1, is intended to help employers to comply with the new law. Unfortunately, employers are likely to find that the guidance raises as many questions as it answers.

Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Publishes Guidance On Pay Equity Law

Today, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office published its long-awaited guidance on Massachusetts’ new pay equity law, which is effective July 1, 2018. The guidance addresses a number of frequently asked questions and further provides guidance for employers on conducting “self-evaluations” of pay practices. A link to the Attorney General’s guidance is found here. Jackson Lewis attorneys are reviewing the guidance and will publish a more detailed analysis shortly.

Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Takes Effect April 1, 2018

Executive Summary: A new Massachusetts law, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, will expand existing legal protections for pregnant employees beginning April 1, 2018. Most notably, employers will be required to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy and related conditions, including lactation and the need to express breast milk.

Do Employers Have to Accommodate Pregnant Employees?

An amendment to the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act requires employers to accommodate pregnant workers.

Massachusetts Enacts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

On July 27, 2017, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, requiring Massachusetts employers to provide pregnant women and new mothers with “reasonable accommodations” for their pregnancies and any conditions related to their pregnancies. As a result, Massachusetts joins an increasing number of states across the country providing these rights. The Act, which takes effect on April 1, 2018, also provides pregnant women and new mothers with increased legal protection against discrimination in the workplace.

Massachusetts Enacts Transgender Restroom Law

Massachusetts has taken another step in protecting those who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. Effective October 1, 2016, individuals will have the legal right to use restrooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity, regardless of their assigned sex. Additionally, no place of public accommodation (any place that is open to and solicits the patronage of the general public) will be allowed to discriminate or advertise in a way that discriminates based on gender identity.

Massachusetts' Gender Identity Law Goes Into Effect July 1, 2012

Massachusetts employers take note: Massachusetts' Transgender Equal Rights Bill, signed into law by Governor Patrick on November 23, 2011, goes into effect on July 1, 2012. Massachusetts is the 16th U.S. state, along with Washington, D.C., to offer transgendered individuals protection from discrimination, although the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination has taken the position for years that transgendered individuals are protected under the definition of "sex" as a protected class.

The Massachusetts Same-Sex Marriage Rulings And The FMLA.

The Department of Labor's recent Administrative Interpretation regarding FMLA leave for those acting in loco parentis to a child placed the spotlight on the application of FMLA leave to same-sex couples with children. However, the ruling did not address how the FMLA applies to situations where an employee seeks FMLA leave to provide care not for a child, but for a same-sex partner or spouse.
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