The Massachusetts Equal Pay Act ("MEPA") goes into effect on July 1, 2018.
To insure compliance with the law, at a minimum, you should immediately:
1. Delete questions concerning prior earnings from Employment Applications and from your list of questions asked of applicants for employment, their past employers or references. Once an offer of employment containing wages and benefit compensation has been given to applicant, you may request wage history.
2. Provide equal pay to men and women for "comparable work." "Comparable work" is work requiring a substantially similar skill set, effort and responsibility performed in similar working conditions.
3. Do not prohibit hourly employees from notifying co-workers of their wages or benefits.
Violations of this Act may result in employers paying double damages and attorneys' fees. But, employers who have engaged in a good faith pay equity audit prior to a claim being filed against them may take advantage of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Act and avoid damages.
Should you wish to conduct such an audit or have questions concerning conformance with the Act, please contact us.
Stoneman, Chandler & Miller LLP
99 High Street
Boston, MA 02110
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