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Massachusetts employers with six or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against current and prospective employees based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity, age, criminal record (inquiries only), handicap (disability), mental illness, retaliation, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, genetics, and active military. In addition, employers have an affirmative responsibility to provide maternity leave to biological and adoptive parents.

Employment Discrimination Guidelines

  1. Definitions. As used in 804 CMR 3.00: Age: The term "age" includes any duration of time since an individual's birth of greater than 40 years. Employee: The term "employee" means an individual employed by an employer in a full or part time capacity. The term "employee" does not include any individual employed in the domestic service of any individual. The term "employee" does not include independent contractors. Any individual employed by his or her parent(s), spouse or child, may not maintain a claim against his or her parent(s), spouse or child under the Fair Employment Practices Law. Employer: The term "employer" means one or more individuals, governments, government agencies, political subdivisions, labor organizations, partnerships, associations, corporations, legal representatives, mutual companies, joint-stock companies, trusts, unincorporated organizations, trustees, or receivers, having six or more employees. The term employer does not include a club exclusively social, or a fraternal association or corporation, if such club, association or corporation is not organized for private profit. Nonprofit clubs, associations, or corporations which are not exclusively social are not excluded. Employment Agency: The term "employment agency" includes any person or entity undertaking to procure employees or opportunities to work. Fair Employment Practices Law: The term "Fair Employment Practices Law" refers to M.G.L. c. 151B. Protected Class: The term "protected class status" shall include race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age and ancestry. Qualified handicapped persons shall be deemed as members of a protected class and as such shall have protected class status. Sexual Orientation: The term "sexual orientation" shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves children as the sex object.
  2. Applicable Law. The Fair Employment Practices Law, found in M.G.L. c. 151B, s.4 guarantees that no person shall suffer discrimination in the terms, conditions or privileges of his or her employment because of his or her protected class status, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification.
  3. Bona Fide Occupational Qualification.
    1. Application. M.G.L. c. 151B does not define the term "bona fide occupational qualification [BFOQ]," but the Commission in applying the term takes the position that it provides only the narrowest of exceptions.
    2. Examples. The Commission will decide BFOQ issues on a case by case basis, but the following examples may provide guidance.

Job Applicants

Massachusetts employers are prohibited from discriminating against prospective employees based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, criminal record, handicap (disability), mental illness, retaliation, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, and genetics. In addition, employers have an affirmative responsibility to provide maternity leave to biological and adoptive parents.

Public Establishments

Discrimination is prohibited based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, handicap (disability), or sexual orientation at places of public accommodation in Massachusetts, such as:

  • hotels or other places of lodging;
  • restaurants or bars;
  • theatres, sports stadiums, or other places of entertainment;
  • stores or other retail establishments;
  • service establishments, such as Laundromats, gas stations, lawyers or accountants;
  • hospitals, medical and dental offices, and other health care facilities;
  • transportation providers or stations;
  • museums, libraries, or other places of public display;
  • parks, gyms, beaches, or other places of recreation;
  • schools, colleges, and other educational institutions;
  • child care centers, senior citizen centers, and other social service establishments;
  • public streets and highways; and
  • public spaces such as court rooms and polling places.

Training

MCAD Training Services

Commonwealth and the federal government and any agency or authority thereof, including any city, town, county, or district of the Commonwealth. Training. The provision of educational services by the Director of Training or his or her designee relating to the anti-discrimination laws enforced by the Commission.

804 CMR 11.03

Application Requirements for Training

  1. Any person or employer who seeks to receive training services from the Commission must complete an Application for Training Services form and submit it to the Commission's Director of Training.
  2. Training services shall be provided to employers only as follows:
    1. for voluntary training services: the training must be mandatory for all employees, including managerial staff; or
    2. for training services provided pursuant to a Commission or court order, or a settlement agreement: the training must be mandatory for all persons specified in the order or agreement; or
    3. as directed by the Commission's Director of Training.

804 CMR 11.04

Training Fees

  1. The following fees shall apply to all training services provided by the Commission: Half-day sessions (four hours or less) ------------ $25 per participant. Full-day sessions (four to seven hours) ------------- $40 per participant.
  2. A minimum of ten participants and/or a minimum payment of $250 (four hours or less) or $400 (four to seven hours) is required. A maximum of forty participants may be included in each training session.
  3. In instances of severe financial hardship, the Chair or his or her designee may, at his or her discretion, grant a request to reduce or waive the training fee. An applicant seeking a reduction or waiver of the fee shall file a written request, appended to the application form, setting forth the following:
    1. the circumstances the applicant believes constitute severe financial hardship;
    2. a proposed fee; and
    3. the reasons the applicant believes the proposed fee is appropriate.
    4. The Chair may, at his or her discretion, reduce or waive any fee at the request of the Director of Training.
    5. The Commission shall review all fees established pursuant to 804 CMR 11.00 annually and shall by regulation adjust fees as necessary to reflect changes in the cost of the provision of its training services.