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Mass AG Issues Formal Guidance On Compliance With New Pay Equity Law

pay equity

Today the Massachusetts Attorney General issued a long-awaited compliance guidance to help employers prepare for the effective date of the Act to Establish Pay Equity, which amends the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (“MEPA”), and which goes into effect on July 1, 2018.  A copy of the 30-page guidance can be found by clicking here. To see prior WLG blog posts discussing the amended MEPA, click here.

The AG’s guidance document is titled, “AN ACT TO ESTABLISH PAY EQUITY: OVERVIEW AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.” The guidance covers a variety of important topics, including:

  • an overview of the law;
  • frequently asked questions;
  • important definitions, such as covered employers, covered employees, comparable work, wages;
  • an explanation of permissible variations in pay;
  • the prohibition against employer restrictions about employee discussion of wages;
  • the prohibition against seeking salary history from applicants in the hiring process;
  • retaliation; and
  • a detailed section covering the affirmative defense that the amended MEPA provides to employers who conduct self-evaluations of their pay equity practices and data.

Finally, the guidance contains a guide for employers who wish to perform self-evaluations, as well as a checklist to help employers review their policies and practices as they prepare for implementation of the amended MEPA.

There is still time for employers to get their houses in order in advance of July 1st. WLG is providing compliance advice to its clients to help them prepare for implementation of the amended MEPA, and so that they can relax and enjoy their July 4th weekend!

Image Credit: (c) gina_sanders