Massachusetts law about hiring employees

Laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on hiring employees law.

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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

Determining whether employees should be paid for training time under Massachusetts and federal laws, Steffans Legal.
Explains the Massachusetts courts' "six factors when determining whether an individual is a 'trainee' or an 'employee'" in order to determine if a person is eligible to be compensated for pre-employment training.

Forms and notices for newly-hired employees

Forms to be filled out

Notices and information to be provided to new employee

Print sources

Employment law, 3rd ed. (Mass. Practice vol. 45-45A), Thomson Reuters, 2016 with supplement. Chapter 15. Regulation of the Hiring Process, Testing, Inquiries and Personnel Records.

Hiring and firing in Massachusetts, John F. Adkins, MCLE, 2007. 

Labor and employment in Massachusetts, Jeffrey L. Hirsch, 2nd edition, LexisNexis, loose-leaf. Chapter 1: Hiring.

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Last updated: March 13, 2024

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