Massachusetts Pay Equity

September 21st, 2016 | Sterling

Effective July 1, 2018, Massachusetts will officially become the first state to prohibit employers from asking job applicants about their salary history.


  • Unless applicants voluntarily disclose this information, employers can’t ask until a job offer with compensation is made.
  • Only once the job offer with compensation is made, can employers obtain a verification of income.
  • The law bans salary secrecy, as it allows employees to freely discuss their salaries with coworkers.
  • The law was signed in order to ensure equal pay for comparable work for Massachusetts workers and equal opportunities to earn competitive salaries in the workplace.


  • Job applications that seek past salary information, interview notes, or guidance that include questions on salary history, must be revised to eliminate such questions.
  • For multi-state employers, applications should, at a minimum, be updated to indicate that Massachusetts applicants should not answer any salary history questions.
  • Company policies that prohibit employees from discussing compensation with their co-workers must be revised to clarify employees’ rights to engage in such conversations.

REMINDER: The new law goes into effect July 1, 2018.

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