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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XXI LABOR AND INDUSTRIES
  • CHAPTER 151B UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATION BECAUSE OF RACE, COLOR, RELIGIOUS CREED, NATIONAL ORIGIN, ANCESTRY OR SEX
  • Section 1 Definitions

Section 1. As used in this chapter

1. The term “person” includes one or more individuals, partnerships, associations, corporations, legal representatives, trustees, trustees in bankruptcy, receivers, and the commonwealth and all political subdivisions, boards, and commissions thereof.

2. The term “employment agency” includes any person undertaking to procure employees or opportunities to work.

3. The term “labor organization” includes any organization which exists and is constituted for the purpose, in whole or in part, of collective bargaining or of dealing with employers concerning grievances, terms or conditions of employment, or of other mutual aid or protection in connection with employment.

4. The term “unlawful practice” includes only those unlawful practices specified in section four.

5. The term “employer” does not include a club exclusively social, or a fraternal association or corporation, if such club, association or corporation is not organized for private profit, nor does it include any employer with fewer than six persons in his employ, but shall include the commonwealth and all political subdivisions, boards, departments and commissions thereof. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law nothing herein shall be construed to bar any religious or denominational institution or organization, or any organization operated for charitable or educational purposes, which is operated, supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization, and which limits membership, enrollment, admission, or participation to members of that religion, from giving preference in hiring or employment to members of the same religion or from taking any action with respect to matters of employment, discipline, faith, internal organization, or ecclesiastical rule, custom, or law which are calculated by such organization to promote the religious principles for which it is established or maintained.

6. The term “employee” does not include any individual employed by his parents, spouse or child, or in the domestic service of any person.

7. The term “commission”, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context, means the Massachusetts commission against discrimination, established by section fifty-six of chapter six.

8. The term “age” unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context, includes any duration of time since an individual’s birth of greater than forty years.

9. The term “housing or housing accommodations” includes any building, structure or portion thereof which is used or occupied or is intended, arranged or designed to be used or occupied, as the home, residence or sleeping place of one or more human beings.

10. The term “publicly assisted housing accommodations” includes all housing accommodations in

(a) housing constructed after July first, nineteen hundred and fifty, and

(1) which is exempt in whole or in part from taxes levied by the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions;

(2) which is constructed on land sold below cost by the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions or any agency thereof, pursuant to the federal housing act of nineteen hundred and forty-nine;

(3) which is constructed in whole or in part on property acquired or assembled by the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions or any agency thereof through the power of condemnation or otherwise for the purpose of such construction; or

(4) for the acquisition, construction, repair or maintenance of which the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions or any agency thereof supplies funds or other financial assistance;

(b) housing which is located in a multiple dwelling, the acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, repair or maintenance of which is, after October first, nineteen hundred and fifty-seven, financed in whole or in part by a loan, whether or not secured by a mortgage, the repayment of which is guaranteed or insured by the federal government or any agency thereof; provided, that such a housing accommodation shall be deemed to be publicly assisted only during the life of such loan and such guaranty or insurance; and

(c) housing which is offered for sale, lease or rental by a person who owns or otherwise controls the sale of the same, and which is part of a parcel of ten or more housing accommodations located on land that is contiguous, exclusive of public streets, if (1) the acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, repair or maintenance of such housing accommodations is after October first, nineteen hundred and fifty-seven, financed in whole or in part by a loan whether or not secured by a mortgage, the repayment of which is guaranteed or insured by the federal government or any agency thereof; provided, that such a housing accommodation shall be deemed to be publicly assisted only during the life of such loan and guaranty or insurance; or (2) a commitment issued by a government agency after October first, nineteen hundred and fifty-seven, is outstanding that acquisition of such housing accommodations may be financed in whole or in part by a loan, whether or not secured by a mortgage, the repayment of which is guaranteed or insured by the federal government or any agency thereof.

11. The term “multiple dwelling” means a dwelling which is usually occupied for permanent residence purposes and which is either rented, leased, let or hired out, to be occupied as the residence or home of three or more families living independently of each other. A “multiple dwelling” shall not be deemed to include a hospital, convent, monastery, asylum or public institution, or a fireproof building used wholly for commercial purposes except for not more than one janitor’s apartment and not more than one penthouse occupied by not more than two families. The term “family”, as used herein, means (a) a person occupying a dwelling and maintaining a household either alone or with not more than four boarders, roomers or lodgers; or (b) two or more persons occupying a dwelling, either living together and maintaining a common household, or living together and maintaining a common household with not more than four boarders, roomers or lodgers. A “boarder”, “roomer” or “lodger” residing with a family means a person living within the household who pays a consideration for such residence and does not occupy such space within the household as an incident of employment therein.

12. The term “contiguously located housing” means (1) housing which is offered for sale, lease or rental by a person who owns or at any time has owned, or who otherwise controls or at any time has controlled, the sale of ten or more housing accommodations located on land that is contiguous (exclusive of public streets), and which housing is located on such land, or (2) housing which is offered for sale, lease or rental and which at any time was one of ten or more lots of a tract whose plan has been submitted to a planning board as required by THE SUBDIVISION CONTROL LAW, as appearing in sections eighty-one K to eighty-one GG, inclusive, of chapter forty-one.

13. The term “other covered housing accommodations” includes all housing accommodations not specifically covered under subsections 10, 11 and 12 which are directly or through an agent made generally available to the public for sale or lease or rental, by advertising in a newspaper or otherwise, by posting of a sign or signs or a notice or notices on the premises or elsewhere, by listing with a broker, or by any other means of public offering.

14. The term “commercial space” means any space in a building, structure, or portion thereof which is used or occupied or is intended, arranged or designed to be used or occupied for the manufacture, sale, resale, processing, reprocessing, displaying, storing, handling, garaging or distribution of personal property; and any space which is used or occupied, or is intended, arranged or designed to be used or occupied as a separate business or professional unit or office in any building, structure or portion thereof.

15. The term “housing development” means multi-apartment units operated as contiguously located housing accommodations.

16. The term “qualified handicapped person” means a handicapped person who is capable of performing the essential functions of a particular job, or who would be capable of performing the essential functions of a particular job with reasonable accommodation to his handicap.

17. The term “handicap” means (a) a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities of a person; (b) a record of having such impairment; or (c) being regarded as having such impairment, but such term shall not include current, illegal use of a controlled substance as defined in section one of chapter ninety-four C.

18. The term “sexual harassment” shall mean sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (a) submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or as a basis for employment decisions; (b) such advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive work environment. Discrimination on the basis of sex shall include, but not be limited to, sexual harassment.

19. The term “handicapped person” means any person who has a handicap.

20. The term “major life activities” means functions, including, but not limited to, caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.

21. The term “accessible” means that housing is functional for and can be safely and independently used by a physically or mentally handicapped person and complies with rules or regulations established by the commission.

22. The term “genetic information”, shall mean any written, recorded individually identifiable result of a genetic test as defined by this section or explanation of such a result or family history pertaining to the presence, absence, variation, alteration, or modification of a human gene or genes. For the purposes of this chapter, the term genetic information shall not include information pertaining to the abuse of drugs or alcohol which is derived from tests given for the exclusive purpose of determining the abuse of drugs or alcohol.

23. The term “genetic test”, shall mean any tests of human DNA, RNA, mitochondrial DNA, chromosomes or proteins for the purpose of identifying genes or genetic abnormalities, or the presence or absence of inherited or acquired characteristics in genetic material. For the purposes of this chapter, the term genetic test shall not include tests given for the exclusive purpose of determining the abuse of drugs or alcohol.