Massachusetts G.L. ch. 151B is the state statute that prohibits discrimination based on disability, and the interpretation of that statute sometimes differs from the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). One area where the two statutes diverge is an employer's obligation to transfer an employee to a vacant position.
Massachusetts employees are filing complaints under the American Disability Act (ADA) with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in record numbers, with over 28,000 complaints filed in 2016, garnering monetary benefits of $131 million.
Many Massachusetts businesses use temporary workers placed by staffing agencies. But who is responsible when a temporary worker requests a disability accommodation? The staffing agency and the business could both be responsible if they are acting as "joint employers" under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Landlords in Massachusetts may be obligated to modify their "no pets" policies to allow a resident to keep an animal that does not meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) definition of "service animal." This post will clarify the status of other types of animals that may assist individuals with disabilities, such as emotional support/companion animals, and their status under Massachusetts Fair Housing laws.