Massachusetts is one of several states that have established laws in addition to the federal statutes to prevent discrimination in the workplace. In fact, they consider themselves to be pioneers in the development and enforcement of anti-discrimination laws.
In 1946, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a bill creating the Fair Employment Practice Act and an agency to enforce it called the Fair Employment Practices Commission. In 1950, the Commission’s name was changed to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), reflecting the expansion of its jurisdiction to include discrimination in housing and public accommodations.
Massachusetts (MA) job discrimination law in the workplace says that it is unlawful for an employer, whether alone or through an agent due to the race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, or ancestry of any individual to refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge from employment such individual or to discriminate against such individual in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification. Massachusetts (MA) job discrimination law requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for their employees to observe and practice their religious holidays or Sabbath day. They cannot expect an employee to violate or forego the practice of their religion. This means that employers cannot impose conditions, which would require an individual to do so. Employees should notify their employers at least ten days before they intend to be absent in observance of their particular religion or creed.
Under Massachusetts (MA) job discrimination law in the workplace all employers should adopt a policy against sexual harassment and should give a description and examples of what would constitute harassment and make a statement that it will not be tolerated and that it is unlawful. Employers and labor organizations are encouraged to conduct an education and training program for new employees and members detailing their policies.
Instead of following the Federal Title VII laws, Massachusetts sexual discrimination law in the workplace falls under state law. This state law differs from the federal law mainly in the sense that it defines employers as those with six or more employees while Title VII applies only to those who have fifteen or more employees.
Massachusetts state law defines employees as people who complete work for compensation, but excludes those who are employed by their parent, spouse or child. It also excludes people who work in domestic service for their employer.
Under this law, it is illegal for employers to make certain decisions on the basis of a person’s sex. This includes hiring and firing as well as compensation and conditions of employment. Sexual harassment in the workplace is also covered under this law. On occasion, such as when decisions based on sex are needed to carry out the conditions of the job, employers may be held exempt from this law.
There are few other differences between the federal Title VII laws and the Massachusetts law as well. First of all, Title VII places a cap on the amount you can be awarded while Massachusetts doesn’t have any such limits. Secondly, people in Massachusetts can also be sued for “aiding and abetting” sexual discrimination in the workplace allowing people to also hold co-workers and supervisors responsible for sexual harassment or failure to take discrimination claims seriously.
If you feel your civil rights have been violated, you need to file a claim within 300 days of the alleged discriminatory act with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). The MCAD then reviews the complaint to see if there is reasonable cause to believe that discrimination did occur. At this point, you’ll be able to decide if you want to take the case into the judicial system or try to work it out through mediation and a possible administrative hearing. Both you and your employer need to agree to mediation if that is to occur.
Even if you know that you want to go through the court system, you’ll need to contact and file with the MCAD first.
It’s important to keep informed about your rights and responsibilities. All employers should have a current Massachusetts Complete Labor Law poster posted in the workplace.
Workers in Massachusetts are protected by state and federal anti-discrimination laws. No worker can be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, color, creed, genetic information, military service, ancestry, age, or disability.
But what good are laws if nobody knows about them? For this reason, it is the law that employers display Massachusetts state discrimination posters in the workplace. The rights of the employees are outlined on the Massachusetts state discrimination posters. This helps both the employers and the employees know what type of treatment is and isn’t acceptable in the workplace.
Some of the details included on the Massachusetts state discrimination posters are: It’s illegal to run any type of ad that mentions unfair hiring practices. It’s against the law to not hire, to fire, or to fail to promote any qualified person. A woman may not be discriminated against because of pregnancy. No person can be retaliated against for filing a claim of discrimination.
Any employer with at least six part-time or full-time employees is required to follow the anti-discrimination laws. If a person feels he/she has been a victim of discrimination, that person should file a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. Unless the alleged victim is hard of hearing, deaf, or represented by an attorney, the person must file the complaint in person. The alleged victim has three hundred days to file the complaint. The complaint may take as long as eightteen months to resolve. The Commisssion never charges a fee for the filing of a complaint.
Most employers are required to follow the anti-discrimination laws set forth by federal and Massachusetts anti-discrimination laws. One law requires employers to display Massachusetts state discrimination posters in the workplace. These posters contain useful information regarding anti-discrimination laws and the rights of employees. This is valuable information for both employers and employees.