Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD)

Filed Under: CORI, Disability, Legal
1 Ashburton Place, Suite 601
Boston, ma 02108
Phone: 617-994-6000

The MCAD investigates and prosecutes Complaints of Discrimination that occur in Employment, Housing, Public Places, Access to Education, Lending, and Credit. They also offer training to help prevent discrimination from occurring.

An individual who lives or works in Massachusetts and feels they have been discriminated against can come to one of the MCAD offices and file a complaint. It will then be investigated by staff on their behalf. MCAD enforces the state’s anti-discrimination laws in these areas: employment, housing, credit, public accommodations, and access to education.

Individuals applying for a job should be aware of what employers may ask a prospective employee prior to hiring. Massachusetts law guarantees that no person shall be denied the right to work because of his or her race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetics, active military personnel, gender identity, age (over 40), criminal record (on job application), or mental or physical handicap/disability.

Individuals applying for admission to schools, universities, and other educational institutions in Massachusetts are protected from discrimination based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, criminal record (on application for admission), blindness, deafness and retaliation.

You can file a complaint in person. No appointment is necessary. In-person appointments are required for most non-housing complaints. You can also file a complaint by attorney via mail.

There is no fee to file a complaint. You may decide to seek an attorney to represent you in the process. If so, the attorney will discuss with you what his or her fee will be. However, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination never collects a fee from someone who files a complaint.

During the COVID-19 health crisis, the MCAD has made temporary emergency changes to its processes and procedures, including the closing of its offices to the public. If you wish to file a Complaint of Discrimination, please call 617-994-6000 to schedule a call with and MCAD intake specialist, or have your attorney email requesting instructions for filing on your behalf.

Service hours

M - F 8:45am - 5pm

Other Locations

MCAD Springfield Office
436 Dwight Street, Room 220
Springfield, MA 01103

MCAD Worcester Office
484 Main Street, Room 320
Worcester, MA 01608


Requirements & Restrictions

In all but a few exceptions, the MCAD cannot accept complaints based on incidents over 300 days old. You should review the MCAD Questionnaires

You should bring with you any relevant names, addresses, or telephone numbers, witnesses’ names, and any other paperwork that will help investigate and establish your allegation of unlawful discrimination. You should also be able to give the date the alleged discrimination occurred.

For an employment case: You should have your employer’s name, address, the approximate number of employees, and the name of the parent company, if applicable.

For a housing case: Supply the landlord’s or property manager’s name, the real estate company’s name, or the real estate agent’s name, if appropriate.

For public accommodations: Bring the name of the owner or manager of the establishment.


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While every effort is made to provide current and accurate information for the agency descriptions and hours of operation, it is recommended to call the agency to verify the information before visiting.

Last updated November 10, 2020


Agency information may have changed due to COVID-19. Please contact individual agencies to double-check their information.