Massachusetts may soon have an updated equal pay law that will limit how and when an employer can seek information about an applicant’s salary history during the interview process. The law, which will expand individuals’ rights to bring claims for equal pay violations, has attracted considerable support, including the Boston Chamber of Commerce. Massachusetts passed the country’s first equal pay law in 1945.

The law passed the Massachusetts Senate unanimously in January and is now before the House of Representatives. Under the proposed bill, it would be unlawful to:

  • Prevent employees from inquiring about or discussing their wages with other employees or other individuals;
  • Require that an applicant for employment disclose prior wages or salary history during the application process; and,
  • Obtain the salary history of an applicant from a current or former employer, unless the employee provides written authorization to confirm prior wages or salary history after an offer of employment has been made.