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Massachusetts Civil Rights Laws

Civil rights are the rights of individuals to be treated as equals under the law, which includes freedom from discrimination in employment. Most civil rights laws are federal, including those encoded in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but states sometimes extend extra protections.

Below you will find Massachusetts-specific laws on civil rights in various different contexts, including whether private civil rights actions are permitted, applicable statutes of limitations, and pertinent code provisions. Click on the links below for state-specific civil rights laws and visit the What Are Rights? article for more information.

Code Section Ch. 151B §1, et seq. (Generally); Ch. 272 §§92A, 98 (Public Accommodations)
Agency Generally: Commission Against Discrimination; Public Accommodations: None
Administrative Preemption Generally: Yes; Public Accommodations: No
Private Action Permitted? Generally: No; Public Accomodations: Yes
Attorney Fees Recoverable by Plaintiff? Generally: Yes; Public Accomodations: No
Statute of Limitations Generally: 300 days; Civil Rights Actions: 3 yrs.-civil action (Ch. 260 §5B)

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Massachusetts employment law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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