The Massachusetts Equal Pay Act is set to go into effect on July 1, 2018. Last week the Attorney General’s office released a website which includes guidance on the provisions set forth in the updated law and links to resources which will aid in compliance.
The goal of the act is to establish pay transparency and equity across genders. Effective July 1, 2018, employers will be required to pay employees the same rate for “work that is substantially similar in that it requires substantially similar skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions.” (Bill S.2119 An Act to Establish Pay Equity) The Act does allow for differences in compensation based on seniority provided that seniority is not negatively impacted for women based on pregnancy or family leave. There are a number of defenses set up within the Act that protect pay decisions. Additionally, as part of the pay transparency requirement, employers can no longer prohibit their employees from discussing or sharing information regarding their pay with each other. Further, employers will not be able to ask job applicants for salary history information until after a salary offer has been made.
- Conduct a gender pay analysis prior to July 1, 2018 to ensure pay equity for employees performing comparable work.
- Document the results of the gender pay equity analysis and the steps being taken to address any inequities, where applicable. Employers doing a self-evaluation have two years to resolve any issues.
- Update job application forms to ensure they are not asking candidates for salary information.
- Update employee handbooks to remove language prohibiting employees from talking about salary information and align practices with the new law.
- Post the required notice about the Act when the notice is available.
“Bill S.2119 An Act to Establish Pay Equity.” August 2016. malegislature.gov. 2 August 2016 <https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/Senate/S2119>.