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General Laws

Section 4. It shall be an unlawful practice:

1. For an employer, by himself or his agent, because of the race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, genetic information, or ancestry of any individual to refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge from employment such individual or to discriminate against such individual in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification.

1A. It shall be unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to impose upon an individual as a condition of obtaining or retaining employment any terms or conditions, compliance with which would require such individual to violate, or forego the practice of, his creed or religion as required by that creed or religion including but not limited to the observance of any particular day or days or any portion thereof as a sabbath or holy day and the employer shall make reasonable accommodation to the religious needs of such individual. No individual who has given notice as hereinafter provided shall be required to remain at his place of employment during any day or days or portion thereof that, as a requirement of his religion, he observes as his sabbath or other holy day, including a reasonable time prior and subsequent thereto for travel between his place of employment and his home, provided, however, that any employee intending to be absent from work when so required by his or her creed or religion shall notify his or her employer not less than ten days in advance of each absence, and that any such absence from work shall, wherever practicable in the judgment of the employer, be made up by an equivalent amount of time at some other mutually convenient time. Nothing under this subsection shall be deemed to require an employer to compensate an employee for such absence. “Reasonable Accommodation”, as used in this subsection shall mean such accommodation to an employee’s or prospective employee’s religious observance or practice as shall not cause undue hardship in the conduct of the employer’s business. The employee shall have the burden of proof as to the required practice of his creed or religion. As used in this subsection, the words “creed or religion” mean any sincerely held religious beliefs, without regard to whether such beliefs are approved, espoused, prescribed or required by an established church or other religious institution or organization.

Undue hardship, as used herein, shall include the inability of an employer to provide services which are required by and in compliance with all federal and state laws, including regulations or tariffs promulgated or required by any regulatory agency having jurisdiction over such services or where the health or safety of the public would be unduly compromised by the absence of such employee or employees, or where the employee’s presence is indispensable to the orderly transaction of business and his or her work cannot be performed by another employee of substantially similar qualifications during the period of absence, or where the employee’s presence is needed to alleviate an emergency situation. The employer shall have the burden of proof to show undue hardship.

1B. For an employer in the private sector, by himself or his agent, because of the age of any individual, to refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge from employment such individual, or to discriminate against such individual in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification.

1C. For the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions, by itself or its agent, because of the age of any individual, to refuse to hire or employ or to bar or discharge from employment such individual in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment unless pursuant to any other general or special law.

1D. For an employer, an employment agency, the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions, by itself or its agents, to deny initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion or any benefit of employment to a person who is a member of, applies to perform, or has an obligation to perform, service in a uniformed military service of the United States, including the National Guard, on the basis of that membership, application or obligation.

2. For a labor organization, because of the race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, age, genetic information, or ancestry of any individual, or because of the handicap of any person alleging to be a qualified handicapped person, to exclude from full membership rights or to expel from its membership such individual or to discriminate in any way against any of its members or against any employer or any individual employed by an employer unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification.

3. For any employer or employment agency to print or circulate or cause to be printed or circulated any statement, advertisement or publication, or to use any form of application for employment or to make any inquiry or record in connection with employment, which expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification or discrimination as to the race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, age, genetic information or ancestry, or the handicap of a qualified handicapped person or any intent to make any such limitation, specification or discrimination, or to discriminate in any way on the ground of race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, genetic information, ancestry or the handicap of a qualified handicapped person, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification.

3A. For any person engaged in the insurance or bonding business, or his agent, to make any inquiry or record of any person seeking a bond or surety bond conditioned upon faithful performance of his duties or to use any form of application in connection with the furnishing of such bond, which seeks information relative to the race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, genetic information, or ancestry of the person to be bonded.

3B. For any person whose business includes granting mortgage loans or engaging in residential real estate-related transactions to discriminate against any person in the granting of any mortgage loan or in making available such a transaction, or in the terms or conditions of such a loan or transaction, because of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, children, national origin, genetic information, ancestry, age or handicap. Such transactions shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) the making or purchasing of loans or the provision of other financial assistance for purchasing, constructing, improving, repairing, or maintaining a dwelling; or the making or purchasing of loans or the provision of other financial assistance secured by residential real estate; or

(2) the selling, brokering, or appraising of residential real estate.

In the case of age, the following shall not be an unlawful practice:

(1) an inquiry of age for the purpose of determining a pertinent element of credit worthiness;

(2) the use of an empirically derived credit system which considers age; provided, however, that such system is based on demonstrably and statistically sound data; and provided, further, that such system does not assign a negative factor or score to any applicant who has reached age sixty-two;

(3) the offering of credit life insurance or credit disability insurance, in conjunction with any mortgage loan, to a limited age group;

(4) the failure or refusal to grant any mortgage loan to a person who has not attained the age of majority;

(5) the failure or refusal to grant any mortgage loan the duration of which exceeds the life expectancy of the applicant as determined by the most recent Individual Annuity Mortality Table.

Nothing in this subsection prohibits a person engaged in the business of furnishing appraisals of real property from taking into consideration factors other than those hereinabove proscribed.

3C. For any person to deny another person access to, or membership or participation in, a multiple listing service, real estate brokers’ organization, or other service, organization, or facility relating to the business of selling or renting dwellings, or to discriminate against such person in the terms or conditions of such access, membership, or participation, on account of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, children, national origin, genetic information, ancestry, age, or handicap.

4. For any person, employer, labor organization or employment agency to discharge, expel or otherwise discriminate against any person because he has opposed any practices forbidden under this chapter or because he has filed a complaint, testified or assisted in any proceeding under section five.

4A. For any person to coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with another person in the exercise or enjoyment of any right granted or protected by this chapter, or to coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with such other person for having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of any such right granted or protected by this chapter.

5. For any person, whether an employer or an employee or not, to aid, abet, incite, compel or coerce the doing of any of the acts forbidden under this chapter or to attempt to do so.

6. For the owner, lessee, sublessee, licensed real estate broker, assignee or managing agent of publicly assisted or multiple dwelling or contiguously located housing accommodations or other person having the right of ownership or possession or right to rent or lease, or sell or negotiate for the sale of such accommodations, or any agent or employee of such a person, or any organization of unit owners in a condominium or housing cooperative: (a) to refuse to rent or lease or sell or negotiate for sale or otherwise to deny to or withhold from any person or group of persons such accommodations because of the race, religious creed, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, age, genetic information, ancestry, or marital status of such person or persons or because such person is a veteran or member of the armed forces, or because such person is blind, or hearing impaired or has any other handicap; (b) to discriminate against any person because of his race, religious creed, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, age, ancestry, or marital status or because such person is a veteran or member of the armed forces, or because such person is blind, or hearing impaired or has any other handicap in the terms, conditions or privileges of such accommodations or the acquisitions thereof, or in the furnishings of facilities and services in connection therewith, or because such a person possesses a trained dog guide as a consequence of blindness, or hearing impairment; (c) to cause to be made any written or oral inquiry or record concerning the race, religious creed, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, age, genetic information, ancestry or marital status of the person seeking to rent or lease or buy any such accommodation, or concerning the fact that such person is a veteran or a member of the armed forces or because such person is blind or hearing impaired or has any other handicap. The word “age” as used in this subsection shall not apply to persons who are minors nor to residency in state-aided or federally-aided housing developments for the elderly nor to residency in housing developments assisted under the federal low income housing tax credit and intended for use as housing for persons 55 years of age or over or 62 years of age or over, nor to residency in communities consisting of either a structure or structures constructed expressly for use as housing for persons 55 years of age or over or 62 years of age or over if the housing owner or manager register biennially with the department of housing and community development. For the purpose of this subsection, housing intended for occupancy by persons fifty-five or over and sixty-two or over shall comply with the provisions set forth in 42 USC 3601 et seq.

For purposes of this subsection, discrimination on the basis of handicap includes, but is not limited to, in connection with the design and construction of: (1) all units of a dwelling which has three or more units and an elevator which are constructed for first occupancy after March thirteenth, nineteen hundred and ninety-one; and (2) all ground floor units of other dwellings consisting of three or more units which are constructed for first occupancy after March thirteenth, nineteen hundred and ninety-one, a failure to design and construct such dwellings in such a manner that (i) the public use and common use portions of such dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons; (ii) all the doors are designed to allow passage into and within all premises within such dwellings and are sufficiently wide to allow passage by handicapped persons in wheelchairs; and (iii) all premises within such dwellings contain the following features of adaptive design; (a) an accessible route into and through the dwelling; (b) light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations; (c) reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and (d) usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.

7. For the owner, lessee, sublessee, real estate broker, assignee or managing agent of other covered housing accommodations or of land intended for the erection of any housing accommodation included under subsection 10, 11, 12, or 13 of section one, or other person having the right of ownership or possession or right to rent or lease or sell, or negotiate for the sale or lease of such land or accommodations, or any agent or employee of such a person or any organization of unit owners in a condominium or housing cooperative: (a) to refuse to rent or lease or sell or negotiate for sale or lease or otherwise to deny or withhold from any person or group of persons such accommodations or land because of race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, age, genetic information, ancestry, or marital status, veteran status or membership in the armed forces, blindness, hearing impairment, or because such person possesses a trained dog guide as a consequence of blindness or hearing impairment or other handicap of such person or persons; (b) to discriminate against any person because of his race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, age, genetic information, ancestry, or marital status, veteran status or membership in the armed services, blindness, or hearing impairment or other handicap, or because such person possesses a trained dog guide as a consequence of blindness or hearing impairment in the terms, conditions or privileges of such accommodations or land or the acquisition thereof, or in the furnishing of facilities and services in the connection therewith or (c) to cause to be made any written or oral inquiry or record concerning the race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, age, genetic information, ancestry, marital status, veteran status or membership in the armed services, blindness, hearing impairment or other handicap or because such person possesses a trained dog guide as a consequence of blindness or hearing impairment, of the person seeking to rent or lease or buy any such accommodation or land; provided, however, that this subsection shall not apply to the leasing of a single apartment or flat in a two family dwelling, the other occupancy unit of which is occupied by the owner as his residence. The word “age” as used in this subsection shall not apply to persons who are minors nor to residency in state-aided or federally-aided housing developments for the elderly nor to residency in housing developments assisted under the federal low income housing tax credit and intended for use as housing for persons 55 years of age or over or 62 years of age or over, nor to residency in communities consisting of either a structure or structures constructed expressly for use as housing for persons 55 years of age or over or 62 years of age or over if the housing owner or manager register biennially with the department of housing and community development. For the purpose of this subsection, housing intended for occupancy by persons fifty-five or over and sixty-two or over shall comply with the provisions set forth in 42 USC 3601 et seq.

7A. For purposes of subsections 6 and 7 discrimination on the basis of handicap shall include but not be limited to:

(1) a refusal to permit or to make, at the expense of the handicapped person, reasonable modification of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by such person if such modification is necessary to afford such person full enjoyment of such premises; provided, however, that, in the case of publicly assisted housing, multiple dwelling housing consisting of ten or more units, or contiguously located housing consisting of ten or more units, reasonable modification shall be at the expense of the owner or other person having the right of ownership; provided, further, that, in the case of public ownership of such housing units the cost of such reasonable modification shall be subject to appropriation; and provided, further, that, in the case of a rental, the landlord may, where the modification to be paid for by the handicapped person will materially alter the marketability of the housing, condition permission for a modification on the tenant agreeing to restore or pay for the cost of restoring, the interior of the premises to the condition that existed prior to such modification, reasonable wear and tear excepted;

(2) a refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford a handicapped person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling; and

(3) discrimination against or a refusal to rent to a person because of such person’s need for reasonable modification or accommodation.

Reasonable modification shall include, but not be limited to, making the housing accessible to mobility-impaired, hearing-impaired and sight-impaired persons including installing raised numbers which may be read by a sight-impaired person, installing a door bell which flashes a light for a hearing-impaired person, lowering a cabinet, ramping a front entrance of five or fewer vertical steps, widening a doorway, and installing a grab bar; provided, however, that for purposes of this subsection, the owner or other person having the right of ownership shall not be required to pay for ramping a front entrance of more than five steps or for installing a wheelchair lift.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this subsection, an accommodation or modification which is paid for by the owner or other person having the right of ownership is not considered to be reasonable if it would impose an undue hardship upon the owner or other person having the right of ownership and shall therefore not be required. Factors to be considered shall include, but not be limited to, the nature and cost of the accommodation or modification needed, the extent to which the accommodation or modification would materially alter the marketability of the housing, the overall size of the housing business of the owner or other person having the right of ownership, including but not limited to, the number and type of housing units, size of budget and available assets, and the ability of the owner or other person having the right of ownership to recover the cost of the accommodation or modification through a federal tax deduction. Ten percent shall be the maximum number of units for which an owner or other person having the right of ownership shall be required to pay for a modification in order to make units fully accessible to persons using a wheelchair pursuant to the requirements of this subsection.

In the event a wheelchair accessible unit becomes or will become vacant, the owner or other person having the right of ownership shall give timely notice to a person who has, within the previous twelve months, notified the owner or person having the right of ownership that such person is in need of a unit which is wheelchair accessible, and the owner or other person having the right of ownership shall give at least fifteen days notice of the vacancy to the Massachusetts rehabilitation commission, which shall maintain a central registry of accessible apartment housing under the provisions of section seventy-nine of chapter six. During such fifteen day notice period, the owner or other person having the right of ownership may lease or agree to lease the unit only if it is to be occupied by a person who is in need of wheelchair accessibility.

Notwithstanding any general or special law, by-law or ordinance to the contrary, there shall not be established or imposed a rent or other charge for such handicap-accessible housing which is higher than the rent or other charge for comparable nonaccessible housing of the owner or other person having the right of ownership.

7B. For any person to make print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of multiple dwelling, contiguously located, publicly assisted or other covered housing accommodations that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, national origin, genetic information, ancestry, children, marital status, public assistance recipiency, or handicap or an intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination except where otherwise legally permitted.

8. For the owner, lessee, sublessee, or managing agent of, or other person having the right of ownership or possession of or the right to sell, rent or lease, commercial space: (1) To refuse to sell, rent, lease or otherwise deny to or withhold from any person or group of persons such commercial space because of race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, age, genetic information, ancestry handicap or marital status of such person or persons. (2) To discriminate against any person because of his race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, age, genetic information, ancestry, handicap or marital status in the terms, conditions or privileges of the sale, rental or lease of any such commercial space or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection therewith. (3) To cause to be made any written or oral inquiry or record concerning the race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, age, genetic information, ancestry, handicap or marital status of a person seeking to rent or lease or buy any such commercial space. The word “age” as used in this subsection shall not apply to persons who are minors, nor to residency in state-aided or federally-aided housing developments for the elderly nor to residency in self-contained retirement communities constructed expressly for use by the elderly and which are at least twenty acres in size and have a minimum age requirement for residency of at least fifty-five years.

9. For an employer, himself or through his agent, in connection with an application for employment, or the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, or the transfer, promotion, bonding, or discharge of any person, or in any other matter relating to the employment of any person, to request any information, to make or keep a record of such information, to use any form of application or application blank which requests such information, or to exclude, limit or otherwise discriminate against any person by reason of his or her failure to furnish such information through a written application or oral inquiry or otherwise regarding: (i) an arrest, detention, or disposition regarding any violation of law in which no conviction resulted, or (ii) a first conviction for any of the following misdemeanors: drunkenness, simple assault, speeding, minor traffic violations, affray, or disturbance of the peace, or (iii) any conviction of a misdemeanor where the date of such conviction or the completion of any period of incarceration resulting therefrom, whichever date is later, occurred five or more years prior to the date of such application for employment or such request for information, unless such person has been convicted of any offense within five years immediately preceding the date of such application for employment or such request for information.

No person shall be held under any provision of any law to be guilty of perjury or of otherwise giving a false statement by reason of his failure to recite or acknowledge such information as he has a right to withhold by this subsection.

Nothing contained herein shall be construed to affect the application of section thirty-four of chapter ninety-four C, or of chapter two hundred and seventy-six relative to the sealing of records.

91/2. For an employer to request on its initial written application form criminal offender record information; provided, however, that except as otherwise prohibited by subsection 9, an employer may inquire about any criminal convictions on an applicant’s application form if: (i) the applicant is applying for a position for which any federal or state law or regulation creates mandatory or presumptive disqualification based on a conviction for 1 or more types of criminal offenses; or (ii) the employer or an affiliate of such employer is subject to an obligation imposed by any federal or state law or regulation not to employ persons, in either 1 or more positions, who have been convicted of 1 or more types of criminal offenses.

9A. For an employer himself or through his agent to refuse, unless based upon a bonafide occupational qualification, to hire or employ or to bar or discharge from employment any person by reason of his or her failure to furnish information regarding his or her admission, on one or more occasions, voluntarily or involuntarily, to any public or private facility for the care and treatment of mentally ill persons, provided that such person has been discharged from such facility or facilities and can prove by a psychiatrist’s certificate that he is mentally competent to perform the job or the job for which he is applying. No application for employment shall contain any questions or requests for information regarding the admission of an applicant, on one or more occasions, voluntarily or involuntarily, to any public or private facility for the care and treatment of mentally ill persons, provided that such applicant has been discharged from such public or private facility or facilities and is no longer under treatment directly related to such admission.

10. For any person furnishing credit, services or rental accommodations to discriminate against any individual who is a recipient of federal, state, or local public assistance, including medical assistance, or who is a tenant receiving federal, state, or local housing subsidies, including rental assistance or rental supplements, because the individual is such a recipient, or because of any requirement of such public assistance, rental assistance, or housing subsidy program.

11. For the owner, sublessees, real estate broker, assignee or managing agent of publicly assisted or multiple dwelling or contiguously located housing accommodations or other covered housing accommodations, or other person having the right of ownership or possession or right to rent or lease or sell such accommodations, or any agent or employee of such person or organization of unit owners in a condominium or housing cooperative, to refuse to rent or lease or sell or otherwise to deny to or withhold from any person such accommodations because such person has a child or children who shall occupy the premises with such person or to discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of such accommodations or the acquisition thereof, or in the furnishing of facilities and services in connection therewith, because such person has a child or children who occupy or shall occupy the premises with such person; provided, however, that nothing herein shall limit the applicability of any local, state, or federal restrictions regarding the maximum number of persons permitted to occupy a dwelling. When the commission or a court finds that discrimination in violation of this paragraph has occurred with respect to a residential premises containing dangerous levels of lead in paint, plaster, soil, or other accessible material, notification of such finding shall be sent to the director of the childhood lead poisoning prevention program.

This subsection shall not apply to:

(1) Dwellings containing three apartments or less, one of which apartments is occupied by an elderly or infirm person for whom the presence of children would constitute a hardship. For purposes of this subsection, an “elderly person” shall mean a person sixty-five years of age or over, and an “infirm person” shall mean a person who is disabled or suffering from a chronic illness.

(2) The temporary leasing or temporary subleasing of a single family dwelling, a single apartment, or a single unit of a condominium or housing cooperative, by the owner of such dwelling, apartment, or unit, or in the case of a subleasing, by the sublessor thereof, who ordinarily occupies the dwelling, apartment, or unit as his or her principal place of residence. For purposes of this subsection, the term “temporary leasing” shall mean leasing during a period of the owner’s or sublessor’s absence not to exceed one year.

(3) The leasing of a single dwelling unit in a two family dwelling, the other occupancy unit of which is occupied by the owner as his residence.

11A. For an employer, by himself or his agent, to refuse to restore certain female employees to employment following their absence by reason of a maternity leave taken in accordance with section one hundred and five D of chapter one hundred and forty-nine or to otherwise fail to comply with the provisions of said section, or for the commonwealth and any of its boards, departments and commissions to deny vacation credit to any female employee for the fiscal year during which she is absent due to a maternity leave taken in accordance with said section or to impose any other penalty as a result of a maternity leave of absence.

12. For any retail store which provides credit or charge account privileges to refuse to extend such privileges to a customer solely because said customer had attained age sixty-two or over.

13. For any person to directly or indirectly induce, attempt to induce, prevent, or attempt to prevent the sale, purchase, or rental of any dwelling or dwellings by:

(a) implicit or explicit representations regarding the entry or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons of a particular age, race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, or economic level or a handicapped person, or a person having a child, or implicit or explicit representations regarding the effects or consequences of any such entry or prospective entry;

(b) unrequested contact or communication with any person or persons, initiated by any means, for the purpose of so inducing or attempting to induce the sale, purchase, or rental of any dwelling or dwellings when he knew or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known that such unrequested solicitation would reasonably be associated by the persons solicited with the entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons of a particular age, race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, or economic level or a handicapped person, or a person having a child;

(c) implicit or explicit false representations regarding the availability of suitable housing within a particular neighborhood or area, or failure to disclose or offer to show all properties listed or held for sale or rent within a requested price or rental range, regardless of location; or

(d) false representations regarding the listing, prospective listing, sale, or prospective sale of any dwelling.

14. For any person furnishing credit or services to deny or terminate such credit or services or to adversely affect an individual’s credit standing because of such individual’s sex, gender identity, marital status, age or sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object; provided that in the case of age the following shall not be unlawful practices:

(1) an inquiry of age for the purpose of determining a pertinent element of creditworthiness;

(2) the use of empirically derived credit systems which consider age, provided such systems are based on demonstrably and statistically sound data and provided further that such systems do not assign a negative factor or score to any applicant who has reached age sixty-two;

(3) the offering of credit life insurance or credit disability insurance, in conjunction with any credit or services, to a limited age group;

(4) the denial of any credit or services to a person who has not attained the age of majority;

(5) the denial of any credit or services the duration of which exceeds the life expectancy of the applicant as determined by the most recent Individual Annuity Mortality Table; or

(6) the offering of more favorable credit terms to students, to persons aged eighteen to twenty-one, or to persons who have reached the age of sixty-two.

Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be liable in an action of contract for actual damages; provided, however, that, if there are no actual damages, the court may assess special damages to the aggrieved party not to exceed one thousand dollars; and provided further, that any person who has been found to violate a provision of this subsection by a court of competent jurisdiction shall be assessed the cost of reasonable legal fees actually incurred.

15. For any person responsible for recording the name of or establishing the personal identification of an individual for any purpose, including that of extending credit, to require such individual to use, because of such individual’s sex or marital status, any surname other than the one by which such individual is generally known.

16. For any employer, personally or through an agent, to dismiss from employment or refuse to hire, rehire or advance in employment or otherwise discriminate against, because of his handicap, any person alleging to be a qualified handicapped person, capable of performing the essential functions of the position involved with reasonable accommodation, unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation required to be made to the physical or mental limitations of the person would impose an undue hardship to the employer’s business. For purposes of this subsection, the word employer shall include an agency which employs individuals directly for the purpose of furnishing part-time or temporary help to others.

In determining whether an accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business, factors to be considered include:—

(1) the overall size of the employer’s business with respect to the number of employees, number and type of facilities, and size of budget or available assets;

(2) the type of the employer’s operation, including the composition and structure of the employer’s workforce; and

(3) the nature and cost of the accommodation needed.

Physical or mental job qualification requirement with respect to hiring, promotion, demotion or dismissal from employment or any other change in employment status or responsibilities shall be functionally related to the specific job or jobs for which the individual is being considered and shall be consistent with the safe and lawful performance of the job.

An employer may not make preemployment inquiry of an applicant as to whether the applicant is a handicapped individual or as to the nature or severity of the handicap, except that an employer may condition an offer of employment on the results of a medical examination conducted solely for the purpose of determining whether the employee, with reasonable accommodation, is capable of performing the essential functions of the job, and an employer may invite applicants to voluntarily disclose their handicap for purposes of assisting the employer in its affirmative action efforts.

16A. For an employer, personally or through its agents, to sexually harass any employee.

17. Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for any person, employer, labor organization or employment agency to:

(a) observe the terms of a bona fide seniority system or any bona fide employee benefit plan such as a retirement, pension, or insurance plan, which is not a subterfuge to evade the purposes of this section, except that no such employee benefit plan shall excuse the failure to hire any person, and no such seniority system or employee benefit plan shall require or permit the involuntary retirement of any person because of age except as permitted by paragraph (b).

(b) require the compulsory retirement of any person who has attained the age of sixty-five and who, for the two year period immediately before retirement, is employed in a bona fide executive or high policymaking position, if such person entitled to an immediate nonforfeitable annual retirement benefit from a pension, profit-sharing, savings or deferred compensation plan, or any combination of such plans, of the employer, which equals, in the aggregate, at least forty-four thousand dollars.

(c) require the retirement of any employee who has attained seventy years of age and who is serving under a contract of unlimited tenure or similar arrangement providing for unlimited tenure at an independent institution of higher education, or to limit the employment in a faculty capacity of such an employee, or another person who has attained seventy years of age who was formerly employed under a contract of unlimited tenure or similar arrangement, to such terms and to such a period as would serve the present and future needs of the institution, as determined by it; provided, however, that in making such a determination, no institution shall use as a qualification for employment or reemployment, the fact that the individual is under any particular age.

18. For the owner, lessee, sublessee, licensed real estate broker, assignee, or managing agent of publicly assisted or multiple dwelling or contiguously located housing accommodations or other covered housing accommodations, or other person having the right of ownership or possession, or right to rent or lease, or sell or negotiate for the sale of such accommodations, or any agent or employee of such person or any organization of unit owners in a condominium or housing cooperative to sexually harass any tenant, prospective tenant, purchaser or prospective purchaser of property.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for any person, employer, labor organization or employment agency to inquire of an applicant for employment or membership as to whether or not he or she is a veteran or a citizen.

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, from limiting admission to or giving preference to persons of the same religion or denomination 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.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, (a) every employer, every employment agency, including the division of employment and training, and every labor organization shall make and keep such records relating to race, color or national origin as the commission may prescribe from time to time by rule or regulation, after public hearing, as reasonably necessary for the purpose of showing compliance with the requirements of this chapter, and (b) every employer and labor organization may keep and maintain such records and make such reports as may from time to time be necessary to comply, or show compliance with, any executive order issued by the President of the United States or any rules or regulations issued thereunder prescribing fair employment practices for contractors and subcontractors under contract with the United States, or, if not subject to such order, in the manner prescribed therein and subject to the jurisdiction of the commission. Such requirements as the commission may, by rule or regulation, prescribe for the making and keeping of records under clause (a) shall impose no greater burden or requirement on the employer, employment agency or labor organization subject thereto, than the comparable requirements which could be prescribed by Federal rule or regulation so long as no such requirements have in fact been prescribed, or which have in fact been prescribed for an employer, employment agency or labor organization under the authority of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, from time to time amended. This paragraph shall apply only to employers who on each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the annual period ending with each date set forth below, employed more employees than the number set forth beside such date, and to labor organizations which have more members on each such working day during such period.

Nothing contained in this chapter or in any rule or regulation issued by the commission shall be interpreted as requiring any employer, employment agency or labor organization to grant preferential treatment to any individual or to any group because of the race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, age, genetic information or ancestry of such individual or group because of imbalance which may exist between the total number or percentage of persons employed by any employer, referred or classified for employment by any employment agency or labor organization, admitted to membership or classified by any labor organization or admitted to or employed in, any apprenticeship or other training program, and the total number or percentage of persons of such race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, age, genetic information or ancestry in the commonwealth or in any community, section or other area therein, or in the available work force in the commonwealth or in any of its political subdivisions.

19. (a) It shall be unlawful discrimination for any employer, employment agency, labor organization, or licensing agency to

(1) refuse to hire or employ, represent, grant membership to, or license a person on the basis of that person’s genetic information;

(2) collect, solicit or require disclosure of genetic information from any person as a condition of employment, or membership, or of obtaining a license;

(3) solicit submission to, require, or administer a genetic test to any person as a condition of employment, membership, or obtaining a license;

(4) offer a person an inducement to undergo a genetic test or otherwise disclose genetic information;

(5) question a person about their genetic information or genetic information concerning their family members, or inquire about previous genetic testing;

(6) use the results of a genetic test or other genetic information to affect the terms, conditions, compensation or privileges of a person’s employment, representation, membership, or the ability to obtain a license;

(7) terminate or refuse to renew a person’s employment, representation, membership, or license on the basis of a genetic test or other genetic information; or

(8) otherwise seek, receive, or maintain genetic information for non-medical purposes.

[There is no paragraph (b).]

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