New Gender-Based Equal Pay Obligations for all Massachusetts Employers
Gender-based equal pay is just a few weeks away in Massachusetts. All employers in Massachusetts with the sole exception of the federal government must comply with the new/amended Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA), a gender-based pay equity law, on or before June 30, 2018.
The assessment of gender-based pay equity in Massachusetts has changed significantly. The standard is different. The definitions are different. Exposure is different and potential corrective measures are different. The conversation about salary history and employee wages will be significantly different. Here is a link to the guidance issued by the Commonwealth’s Attorney General. That guidance includes links to the Pay Calculation tools and spreadsheet prepared by the Office of the Attorney General.
Please remember the AG’s caveat: “The Pay Calculator tools provided by the Office of the Attorney General will not tell employers definitively whether they have achieved compliance with the new law but instead are intended to assist employers with gathering and analyzing relevant information. Ultimately, the law requires a case-by-case determination.”
All members of the Chamber are covered by this new law and must conduct an evaluation of their pay practices in accordance with the new legal standard in order to achieve compliance with the new law on or before June 30, 2018. In general terms, the updated Equal Pay law requires employers to pay employees of a different gender the same pay if they perform comparable work. MEPA recognizes only six permissible reasons for differences in pay for employees of a different gender who perform comparable work: a system that rewards seniority with the employer; a merit system; a system which measures earnings by quality or quantity of production, sales or revenue; geographic location in which a job is performed; education, training or experience to the extent such factors are reasonably related to the particular job in question; or travel, if travel is a regular and necessary condition of the particular job.
We recommend using outside counsel as part of this process to protect findings under the Attorney/Client privilege.