On Thursday, March 1, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued guidance to assist employers in complying with the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act. The law, formally known as an Act to Establish Pay Equity (Chapter 177 of the Acts of 2016), goes into effect on July 1, 2018.

The guidance, which can be found here, includes an overview of the law, responses to frequently asked questions, a self-evaluation guide for employers, and a sample checklist of policies and practices. The Attorney General's website also has a calculation tool to help employers determine where they have potential wage gaps between male and female employees.

The Equal Pay Act, signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker in August 2016, establishes that employers may not discriminate in any way on the basis of gender in the payment of wages, including benefits or other compensation, subject to a number of exceptions. The law defines "comparable work" and sets out conditions in which differences in pay for comparable work are permitted. The law also prohibits employers from asking prospective employees about their salary history, seeking out salary histories from any current or former employer, or requiring employees to refrain from discussing information about their own wages or other employees' wages.