Employment Discrimination in Massachusetts

Avoid employment discrimination against protected classes in Massachusetts.

Related Ads
Need Professional Help? Talk to a Lawyer
Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area
searchbox small

What are the protected classes in Massachusetts?

In all 50 states, federal law makes it illegal to discriminate based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions)
  • Disability
  • Age (40 and older)
  • Citizenship status
  • Genetic information

In addition, Massachusetts state law also prohibits discrimination based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Disability: physical or mental
  • Age (40 and older)
  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Military service
  • Arrest record
  • Gender identity

How many employees must a Massachusetts company have to be subject to antidiscrimination laws?

In Massachusetts, any company with six or more employees is subject to the state's antidiscrimination law.

Under federal law, companies with 15 or more employees are covered by Title VII, the primary law prohibiting employment discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination based on genetic information. Companies with 20 or more employees are subject to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the federal law that prohibits discrimination against employees 40 years or older. Companies with four or more employees must comply with the employment discrimination provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of citizenship status. And all companies of any size must pay men and women equally for doing equal work, by virtue of the Equal Pay Act.

What government agency regulates workplace discrimination in Massachusetts?

The Commission Against Discrimination enforces state antidiscrimination law in Massachusetts. You can contact the Commission Against Discrimination at 617-994-6000 or go to its website.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that regulates workplace discrimination. You can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by calling 800-669-4000 or check out its website at www.eeoc.gov. The website will help you locate an EEOC field office in Massachusetts.

For more information on employment discrimination, see The Manager's Legal Handbook, by attorneys Lisa Guerin and Amy DelPo (Nolo).

Last updated on 2/22/13.

Get Informed
Empower yourself with our plain-English information
Do It Yourself
Handle routine tasks with our products
Find a Lawyer
Connect with a local lawyer who meets your needs
The fastest, easiest way to find, choose, and connect to employment lawyers
LA-NOLO2:LDR.1.5.0.20140409.25642