Overview of Types of Discrimination in Massachusetts

We enforce the Anti-discrimination laws of Massachusetts which protect all people in MA from being treated differently or unfairly based on their membership in a protected class.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Massachusetts Law outlaws treating people unfairly based on the persons membership in a "protected class," such as your race, national origin, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

If you feel that you have been treated unfairly based on protected class, you may file a Complaint of Discrimination at the MCAD.

We investigate and prosecute Complaints of Discrimination in employment, housing, credit and mortgage lending, public places, and when seeking access to educational institutions. We also enforce the Commonwealth's sexual harassment law, Parental Leave law, and Lead Paint law.

Education

Applicants

Individuals who apply for admission to schools, universities, and other educational institutions in Massachusetts are protected from discrimination based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, age, criminal record, blindness or deafness, and retaliation.

Learn more about Discrimination in Education→ 

Employment

At Work

Massachusetts employment discrimination laws apply to employers with six or more employees, and any employer of a domestic worker regardless of the employer’s size. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity, age, criminal record (inquiries only), handicap (disability), mental illness, retaliation, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, active military personnel, and genetics. In addition, employers have an affirmative responsibility to provide parental leave to biological and adoptive parents.

Job Applicants

Massachusetts employers are prohibited from discriminating against prospective employees based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity, age, criminal record, handicap (disability), mental illness, retaliation, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, active military personnel, and genetics. In addition, employers have an affirmative responsibility to provide maternity leave to biological and adoptive parents.

Learn more about Workplace Discrimination → 

Credit & Lending

Borrowers and Lenders

Individuals who apply for credit or mortgage loans from Massachusetts lenders are protected from discrimination. Mortgage lenders are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, handicap (disability), sexual orientation, whether the individual has a child, retaliation, and gender identity. 

In addition, banks and other creditors are prohibited from discriminating based on sex, age, sexual orientation, marital status, public assistance, and retaliation.

Learn more about Discrimination in Lending & Credit→ 

Housing

Tenants and Homebuyers

Massachusetts landlords and realtors are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, handicap (disability), sexual harassment, sexual orientation, marital status, children, retaliation, veteran status, or public assistance.

The laws on discrimination in housing also apply to housing advertising, public housing, private realtors and landlords.

Learn more about Housing Discrimination → 

Public Places (Places of Public Accommodation)

Patrons of Public Establishments 

Discrimination is prohibited based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, handicap (disability), gender identity, or sexual orientation at places of public accommodation in Massachusetts. 

    Learn more about Discrimination in Public Places → 

    Contact

    Phone

    Open M-F 9am-5pm. Messages are returned within 2 business days.

    TTY (hearing impaired) 617-994-6196

    Online

    e-mail mcad@mass.gov

    Fax

    MCAD Main Fax 617-994-6024
    Feedback