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.
Articles Discussing Sex Discrimination Claims In Massachusetts.
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.
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.
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.
An amendment to the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act requires employers to accommodate pregnant workers.
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.
Effective April 7, 2015, the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act will be replaced by the Parental Leave Act (“PLA”). The new law expands the scope of the Maternity Leave Act by extending parental leave rights to men.
On November 23, 2011, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the “Gender Identity Bill.” This makes Massachusetts the 16th state â€“ along with California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia â€“ to provide some level of protection to employees based on gender identity and/or expression.