Massachusetts is poised to join to the growing number of states enacting pay transparency laws which, among other things, require employers to disclose minimum and maximum salary ranges for job openings. At present, the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate have passed largely similar pay transparency bills, with the expectation that a consolidated bill will eventually be signed into law by Governor Maura Healey. Though some changes are anticipated as the chambers consolidate their overlapping bills, Massachusetts employers can glean some insight into the requirements that will likely become law by examining where the present bills overlap.

Requirement to Post Salary Ranges in Job Postings

As true in other states that have enacted similar laws, the central requirement under both the House (H.4109) and Senate (S.2468) bills is that Massachusetts’ “covered employers” (the definition of which is discussed below) must disclose the pay range for a particular employment position when posting the availability of that job. Further, covered employers must provide the pay range for a particular job when current employees are offered promotions or transfers to a new position with different job responsibilities. Finally, covered employers must make pay ranges available upon request to current employees or applicants.

The proposed law would define “pay range” as the “annual salary range or hourly wage range that the covered employer reasonably and in good faith expects to pay for such position at that time.”  Other states enacting pay transparency laws have similarly imposed this “good faith” requirement on employers. Notably, the current drafts of the law do not appear to include items like bonuses or other incentive type pay within the definition of “pay range.”

Covered Employers

Under both bills, the requirements to post salary ranges would only apply to employers that employ twenty-five (25) or more employees in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Accordingly, employers that maintain out-of-state headquarters, but employ 25 or more employees in Massachusetts, would nonetheless be subject to this law.

Notably, these requirements also apply to “agents” of covered employers, which likely includes recruiters, placement agencies, and the like.


The proposed law makes it unlawful for employers to discharge or otherwise retaliate or discriminate against employees and job applicants because of the employee or job applicant’s exercise of their rights under the law. For example, if an employer takes an adverse action against an employee because that employee requested the salary range for a job position, the employer could face liability for retaliation.

Remedies and Enforcement

Under the current bills, the Massachusetts Attorney General would have sole jurisdiction to enforce the law. Employers could face warnings for a first offense under the law, and fines of up to $500 and $1,000 for second and third offenses, respectively. Fourth (or further) violations may be subject to fines ranging from $7,500 to $25,000. These fines are not subject to trebling under the proposed law. Employees or job applicants, for their part, would not be able to sue or otherwise take action against employers who violate this law – there is no private right of action.

Wage Data Reporting

Aside from the public-facing aspects of the proposed law, each bill also contains requirements regarding wage data reporting – but only for employers with one hundred (100) or more full-time employees in Massachusetts. Under this requirement, employers who are subject to federal EEO-1, EEO-3, EEO-4, and EEO-5 wage data report filing requirements shall submit wage data reports to the Commonwealth.


Though not yet law, Massachusetts employers should be prepared to begin posting salary ranges or hourly wage ranges in their job postings, whether such postings are external, internal, or accomplished through a third party. Such ranges should reflect good faith estimations of what an employer would expect to compensate for the role. It is expected that the law would become effective one year after the Governor’s signature. We will continue to post updates with further developments.

Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
Photo of Mark W. Batten Mark W. Batten

Mark W. Batten is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Class & Collective Actions Group.

Mark represents employers nationwide at all stages of complex employment litigation, including class and collective actions on wage and hour matters…

Mark W. Batten is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Class & Collective Actions Group.

Mark represents employers nationwide at all stages of complex employment litigation, including class and collective actions on wage and hour matters and discrimination claims. Ranked by Chambers USA, Mark is hailed as “a fabulous lawyer, handling interesting and complex cases.” Clients “highly recommend him to anyone seeking litigation counsel in the Boston area,” as well as note “he is responsive, pragmatic and team-oriented, and offers excellent legal advice.”

He assists clients with all aspects of employment policies and practices, including hiring, termination, leaves, accommodation of disabilities, and other matters. Mark also handles diverse civil litigation, including litigation of noncompetition agreements, ERISA matters, discrimination and wrongful termination litigation in federal and state courts; proceedings before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination; wage and hour matters; and labor arbitrations. He is also an experienced appellate attorney both in employment cases and other civil litigation, handling appeals at all levels in the state courts and in the United States Courts of Appeals.

Mark also has substantial experience with traditional labor matters. He regularly represents employers in a variety of industries, including a number of newspaper and media companies, in collective bargaining, practice before the NLRB, labor arbitrations, union organizing campaigns, and day-to-day advice on administration of collective bargaining agreements. He regularly advises clients in both union and non-union settings on diligence matters in corporate acquisitions and financings. He also has experience on behalf of securities firms in arbitrations before the NASD and NYSE of customer and employee complaints.

Mark also practices on behalf of newspapers and other media in newsroom litigation, including libel defense and representation of reporters under subpoena, and has substantial experience in litigation involving access to sealed records and judicial proceedings on behalf of media companies.

Before joining Proskauer, Mark was a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, where he was lead counsel in major litigation for over two dozen federal agencies, ranging from the U.S. Air Force, the CIA, and the U.S. Secret Service to the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Mark regularly writes and lectures on employment-related matters, including, for instance, MCLE’s Representing Clients Before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

In his spare time, Mark is an experienced computer programmer, conversant in C, C++, and other languages. He has ported software between computer operating systems and has published several commercial computer games.