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. 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

804 CMR 3 Discrimination in employment 

830 CMR 62E Wage reporting system 


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 Ban the Box 2018: further amendments to criminal history and hiring law, National Law Review, December 7, 2018
"Here is an overview of the general state of the law in Massachusetts, highlighting the recent changes. Employers may want to take this opportunity to review their background check policies and practices to ensure they comply with the law, as amended."

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

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



Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only


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Last updated: July 3, 2019