State of Massachusetts Prohibits Salary History Use

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Massachusetts salary history

Special Announcement to all Massachusetts employers:

The State of Massachusetts passed a law, S2119, amending the Massachusetts General Laws, M.G.L. Chapter 149, sec. 1. This prohibits employers from seeking for, or asking from job applicants, the salary history (including benefits or other compensation) of the applicant until after an offer of employment with compensation has been made. This law becomes effective on July 1st, 2018.

The law makes the following an unlawful practice:

  1. Require, as a condition of employment, that an employee refrain from inquiring about, discussing or disclosing information about either the employee’s own wages, including benefits or other compensation or about any other employee’s wages;
  2. Screen job applicants based on their wage, including benefits or other compensation or salary histories; including by requiring that an applicant’s prior wages; including benefits or other compensation or salary history, satisfy minimum or maximum criteria; or request or require as a condition of being interviewed, or as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment, that an applicant disclose prior wages or salary history;
  3. Seek the salary history of any prospective employee from any current or former employer; provided, however, that a prospective employee may provide written authorization to a prospective employer to confirm prior wages; including benefits or other compensation or salary history only after an offer of employment with compensation has been made to the prospective employee;
  4. Discharge or in any other manner retaliate against any employee because the employee:

I. opposed any act or practice made unlawful by this section;
II. made or is about to make a complaint or has caused or is about to cause to be instituted any proceeding under this section;
III. testified or is about to testify, assist or participate in any manner in an investigation or proceeding under this section; or
IV. disclosed the employee’s wages, benefits or other compensation or has inquired about or discussed the wages of any other employee.

This law will require a review of the hiring process in place. This includes any documentation or forms that all applicants must complete, and may require changes to that process.

In order to comply with this law, Justifacts recommends that you consult with your legal department. This will help your company determine what changes, if any, need to be made to your hiring process.

The complete text of the legislation can be found here: Bill S.2119

It is important to note that Justifacts is providing this information as a service to our clients. None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor is Justifacts engaged to provide legal advice. We go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful. We recommend you consult your attorney or legal department if you want assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.


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