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Massachusetts law about hiring employees

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on hiring employees law by the Trial Court Law Libraries.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.149 Labor and Industries
MGL c.151B Unlawful Discrimination

  • MGL c.151B, s.4 (9-1/2) An employer may not "request on its initial written application form criminal record information," unless very specific conditions apply

St.2016, c.177 An Act to Establish Pay Equity, Effective July 1, 2018. Employers may not ask about wage or salary history until after an offer of employment with compensation has been made.

Massachusetts regulations

804 CMR 3 Discrimination in employment 

830 CMR 62E Wage reporting system 

Forms

Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9), US Dept. of Homeland Security
Form required of new employees to verify identity and employment eligibility — can be filled out online and saved or printed. Includes a list of acceptable forms of identification.

Handbook for Employers: Instructions for Completing the Form I-9, US Dept. of Homeland Security 
Extensive (65 page) document provides answers to key questions such as "What Happens if I Hire an Illegal Alien?"

Web sources

Equal Pay Act Guidance, Mass. Attorney General. 
See section 7: seeking salary history prohibited.

Interview Questions You May and May Not Ask Under New Massachusetts Pay Equity Law, Small Business Trends, June 2018.
Explains which salary questions you can and can't ask.

Is it hard to get a human services job if I have a CORI?, MassLegalHelp
Human services agencies face restrictions on who they may hire, depending on the criminal record involved. Outlines the laws and how to overcome obstacles in working for human services if you have a criminal record.

Learn about the New Hire Reporting Program, Mass. Dept. of Revenue
"Federal law requires all employers to follow their state's New Hire Reporting requirements. In Massachusetts, the new hire reporting requirements apply to all employers and payors of income regardless of the number of employees or independent contractors they employ."

Massachusetts Equal Pay Law, Mass. Attorney General.
As of July 1, 2018, the equal pay law limits questions employers can ask job applicants.

Massachusetts Law on Employer Use of Arrest and Conviction Records, Nolo

Massachusetts Overhauls Accessibility to Criminal Information of Applicants and Employees, Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP, 2010
Good explanation of CORI law changes

New Hire Paperwork: Massachusetts, Xpert HR
A list of what you need to get from, and give to, a new employee in Massachusetts. Includes references to applicable laws and regulations.

Questions You Shouldn't be Asked in a Job Interview, MetroWest Daily News, Sept. 14, 2008
This does not include information on the equal pay law, but it is a useful tool for interview questions in general.

Print sources

Hiring and Firing in Massachusetts, MCLE, 2007

Contact

Phone

Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only

Online

Reference librarians online Chat with a law librarian 
Reference librarians via email masslawlib@gmail.com

Address

Administrative office (no law library at this location)
2 Center Plaza
9th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Last updated: June 26, 2018

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