Massachusetts Equal Pay Act Coming Soon

March 19, 2018

Employers will soon be required to comply with the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act, one of the most expansive equal pay laws in the United States.

As of July 01, 2018 Massachusetts employers will be required to comply with the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA). This is considered to be one of the most expansive equal pay laws in the United States.

On July 23, 2016, the Massachusetts Legislature passed the Act to Establish Pay Equity. The purpose of the Act is to increase wage transparency and bridge the gender gap with regard to wages.

The act limits the wage-related information that employers may obtain from job applicants, and makes it generally illegal for an employer to pay employees of one gender lower compensation than another gender for comparable work. Under the law, comparable work is “work that is substantially similar in that it requires substantially similar skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions.”  The law also provides that “a job title or job description alone shall not determine comparability.”

In addition to equal pay requirements and a restriction on salary history inquiries of job applicants, the act makes it illegal for an employer to limit employees from disclosing information about their own wages or discussing another employee’s wages. The new law also contains anti-retaliation provisions for any employee who opposes an action or practice made illegal under this section.

The Massachusetts Government has established an extensive guidance for employers provided on their website,, updated on March 1, 2018. The guide includes valuable resources to consider before the July 01, 2018 deadline including:

  •  Employer self-evaluation – A basic guide for employers
  •  Employer sample checklist – policies & practices review

The Massachusetts Equal Pay Act applies to all employers who have an employee with primary place of work in Massachusetts, even if the business is located outside of Massachusetts. MEPA covers nearly all employers in Massachusetts, including state and municipal employers, irrespective of size. It does not apply to the federal government as an employer.

Paylocity provides reports, such as the annual salary report and employment history report, or the option to create a custom report using our report writer tool that clients may utilize to evaluate their current compensation practices prior to the deadline. These resources may be used in tandem with those provided by the agency by employers who wish to evaluate their current practices prior to July 01, 2018.


Thank you for choosing Paylocity as your Payroll Tax partner. Should you have any questions please contact your Paylocity Account Manager.

This information is provided as a courtesy, may change and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney or Advisor.