MCAD Resurrects Discrimination Testing

Massachusetts employers beware. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination may have you in its crosshairs. As reported by Lisa van der Pool in the current edition of the Boston Business Journal, the MCAD is resurrecting a testing program it first began in 1992, in which pairs of similarly qualified but demographically diverse “job applicants” apply for positions at the same employer. The program’s goal is to see how the two applicants are treated in an effort to root out discriminatory hiring practices. When it finds such practices, the MCAD will file a complaint against the employer even though there may be no individual complainant. According to the BBJ article, employers are targeted based on anonymous tips and “other sources.”

From an employer’s perspective, it’s easy to look at the MCAD’s testing program as a form of entrapment. But a more reasoned response is for employers to take a closer look at themselves and cure discriminatory practices before it’s too late. Most employers don’t have to be told it’s unlawful to discriminate. Those that aren’t sure whether they’re acting lawfully should seek the help of an employment lawyer or some other human resources professional. Those that don’t care they are breaking the law probably deserve the consequences imposed upon them by the MCAD.


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