Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Pay Equity Becomes Law In Massachusetts - LEXOLOGY

by Fisher Phillips 
Originally published: August 1, 2016

On August 1, 2016, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a comprehensive pay equity bill entitled The Act to Establish Pay Equity (the Act). The law establishes significant new employer obligations with respect to pay equity, employer policies, and hiring practices, and also creates serious consequences for violations.

This new law is part of a growing trend of state legislation aimed at the gender wage gap, with similar measures passing in California and New York in the past year. The Act will become effective on January 1, 2018, giving employers time to evaluate their pay practices and make necessary changes to comply with the law.

This Alert addresses the key provisions of this new law, including:

equal pay for “comparable work” and the factors which may legally justify “variations in wages;”prohibition on “pay secrecy policies” and rules for using salary history in the hiring process; penalties for non-compliance; and “self-evaluations” of compensation practices as a defense to liability.