To insure compliance with the law, at a minimum, you should immediately:
- Delete questions concerning prior earnings from Employment Applications and from your list of questions asked of applicants for employment, their past employers or references (Section 7 of a Guidance on this topic provided by the Office of the Attorney General is attached) Once an offer of employment containing wages and benefit compensation has been given to applicant, you may request wage history.
- 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.
- 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 have questions regarding this new law, contact Rob McGovern, ABC MA's Director of Public Affairs, at Rob@abcma.org and we can refer you to one of our many qualified affiliate attorneys.