Massachusetts law about hiring employees

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

This page is only about the hiring process. For information on any other aspect of employment law, see Massachusetts law about employment, which links to over 20 other pages on employment topics.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.149 Labor and industries. Numerous sections throughout this chapter apply to the hiring process.

  • MGL c.149, §§105A-105D Equal pay. Employers may not ask about wage or salary history until after an offer of employment with compensation has been made.

MGL c.151B Unlawful discrimination

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

Massachusetts regulations

201 CMR 17 Data privacy

804 CMR 3 Discrimination in employment 

830 CMR 62E Wage reporting system 

Federal laws

15 USC §§ 1681 et seq. Fair credit reporting act

29 USC §§ 621-624 Age discrimination in employment

29 USC § 791 Rehabilitation act

42 USC §§ 2000e-2000e-17 Equal employment opportunity act

42 USC §§ 2000ff-2000ff-11 Genetic information nondiscrimination act

42 USC §§ 12101-12213 Americans with disabilities act (ADA)

Federal regulations

15 CFR 600-698 Fair credit reporting

29 CFR 1600-1699 Equal employment opportunity

Job applications and interviews

In general, employers should not ask about:

Employers may ask for:

Working interview

Hiring and the law – do I pay for a "working interview"?, Employee testing center.
Generally, a candidate should be paid at least minimum wage for a working interview.

Pre employment training

Is pre-employment training compensable? HRSource. 
Explains the Dept. of Labor’s six part test.

Forms and notices for newly-hired employees

Forms to be filled out

Form I-9 Employment eligibility verification form, 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.

Form M-4: Massachusetts employee's withholding exemption certificate, Mass. Dept. of Revenue

Form NHR: New hire and independent contractor reporting form, Mass. Dept. of Revenue

  • 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."

Form W2 Federal tax withholding, IRS.

Notices and information to be provided to new employee

Domestic violence leave notification (50 or more employees)  (MGL c.149, § 52E(k))

Domestic workers notice (for household workers only) (MGL c.149 § 190(m))

Paid family and medical leave notice (MGL c.175M, § 4)

Paid sick leave notice (MGL c.149, § 148C(o))

Pregnant workers notice (MGL c.151B, § 4)

Sexual harassment policy (MGL c.151B, § 3A(b)(2))

Workers' compensation notice (MGL c.152 § 22)



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Last updated: April 19, 2022