Massachusetts has become the latest state to strengthen its pay equity laws. Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill amending the state’s Equal Pay Act on August 1, 2016. The new law, which becomes effective on January 1, 2018, imposes more rigorous equal pay obligations on employers and provides for automatic triple damages and attorneys’ fees, among other things.

In addition, the law limits the type of information employers can obtain from applicants about their salary history, in an effort to reduce the effect of potential past inequities in salary. Further, the law provides an affirmative defense for employers who conduct an equal pay analysis. For additional details, see our article, Massachusetts Prepares to Toughen Pay Equity Requirements.

Employers with employees in Massachusetts should examine and analyze carefully their pay practices and consider conducting a privileged pay self-audit of their compensation practices.