assertion of these statutory protections is also prohibited. The federal law extends protection
not merely to members of, and applicants for, the armed services but also to persons who
serve or train as intermittent disaster-response appointees upon activation of the National
Disaster Medical System. While the state law applies to employers with six or more
employees, the federal law applies to all employers regardless of the number of persons they
Massachusetts and a majority of other states prohibit employers from using genetic
information about employees or prospective employees in any way, such as hiring, firing, or
to affect the terms, conditions, compensation, or privileges of employment. Although
Congress has not yet enacted federal legislation to address specifically the use of genetic
information in employment decisions, the EEOC has interpreted “disability” in the ADA to
include genetic predisposition to disease.
Chapter 151B prohibits employers from asking job applicants or employees about
certain criminal record information, specifically the following:
an arrest, detention, or disposition regarding any violation of law in which no conviction resulted, or
a first conviction for any of the following misdemeanors: drunkenness, simple assault, speeding, minor traffic violations, affray, or disturbance of the peace, or
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.