In keeping with actions taken by other states, such as California and New York, Massachusetts is poised to pass an updated equal pay law that will greatly expand the ability of individuals to bring claims for violations of equal pay. The proposed law also puts limits on an employer’s effort to seek information about an applicant’s salary history during the interview process. The current proposal recently passed unanimously in the state Senate, and is now before the House of Representatives.

Under the proposed bill, it would be unlawful to:

  • Prevent employees from inquiring about or discussing their wages with other employees or other individuals;
  • Require that an applicant for employment disclose prior wages or salary history during the application process; and,
  • Obtain the salary history of an applicant from a current or former employer, unless the employee provides written authorization to confirm prior wages or salary history after an offer of employment has been made.