Overview of Discrimination Laws the MCAD Enforces

The MCAD enforces MA anti-discrimination laws in education, employment, credit & lending, housing, and places of public accommodation. Learn about the forms of discrimination that are protected under MCAD-enforced laws.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Massachusetts law prohibits discrimination on the basis of a person's membership in a protected class, such as race, color, national origin, ancestry, religious creed, disability, sex, age, sexual orientation, familial status, veteran status, criminal record, and gender identity/expression. Anyone who lives in, works in, or visits Massachusetts may file a complaint if they believe they were treated differently or unfairly based on their membership in a protected class. The MCAD enforces the law through the investigation of complaints of discrimination, the prosecution and adjudication of cases, and through preventative training and education.

Education

Educational Institution Applicants

The MCAD enforces M.G.L. c. 151C which makes it illegal to deny admission to a Massachusetts-based educational institution, such as a college or university, based on the applicant's membership in a protected class.

Learn more about discrimination in education → 

Employment

Employees, Domestic Workers, & Job Applicants

The MCAD enforces M.G.L. c. 151B which makes it illegal to discriminate against prospective or current employees on the basis of their membership in a protected class. Workplace harassment based on membership in a protected class is also prohibited. The law applies to employers with six (6) or more employees and anyone who employs domestic workers, regardless if there are fewer than six (6) workers employed.

Harassment based on membership in a protected class, including sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination, is also prohibited in the workplace.

Learn more about discrimination in employment → 

Credit & Lending

Borrowers & Lenders

The MCAD enforces M.G.L. c. 151B which makes it illegal for Massachusetts-based lenders, banks, appraisers, and insurance companies to discriminate against individuals that apply for credit or mortgage loans based on the individual's membership in a protected class.

Learn more about discrimination in credit & lending→ 

Housing

Applicants and Tenants of public housing, private rentals, shelters, or commercial spaces & Potential Buyers of homes or commercial spaces

The MCAD enforces M.G.L. c. 151B which makes it illegal for landlords, realtors, real estate agencies, property managers, management companies, and public housing authorities to discriminate against applicants, tenants, or potential buyers on the basis of their membership in a protected class, which includes the refusal or delay to rent, lease, negotiate, or sell a property. The law also prohibits discriminatory advertising, setting discriminatory terms or conditions, the use of intimidation, coercion, or discriminatory practices like steering, and the misrepresentation of housing availability.

Harassment based on membership in a protected class, including sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination, is also prohibited.

Learn more about discrimination in housing → 

Places of Public Accommodation

Patrons of Public Establishments 

The MCAD enforces M.G.L. c. 272 which makes it illegal to deny or restrict access to (§ 98, § 98A) or create discriminatory advertisements for (§ 92A) places of public accommodation in Massachusetts on the basis of an individual's membership in a protected class. Places of public accommodation includes airports, amusement parks, auditoriums, bars, hospitals, hotels/motels, libraries, museums, restaurants, restrooms, pools, and theaters.

Learn more about discrimination in public accommodations → 

Contact   for Overview of Discrimination Laws the MCAD Enforces

Fax

MCAD Boston (617) 994-6024
MCAD Springfield (413) 784-1056
MCAD Worcester (508) 755-3861

Address

MCAD Boston
1 Ashburton Place, Suite 601, Boston, MA 02108
MCAD Springfield
436 Dwight Street, Room 220, Springfield, MA 01103
MCAD Worcester
18 Chestnut Street, Room 520, Worcester, MA 01608
Last updated: June 7, 2024

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