Beginning on the first of next month, a new revision of the existing Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA) goes into effect and business owners need to be aware of its provisions. The changes establish tough new penalties for employers who violate pay equity in the Commonwealth, including twice the amount of unpaid wages owed – the differential between the employee’s wages and the wages paid to an employee of a different gender performing comparable work – plus reasonable attorneys’ costs & fees. In addition, MEPA also provides that employers cannot prohibit worker from disclosing or discussing wages; cannot seek the salary or wage history of prospective employees before offering them the job; and may not retaliate against any employee who exercises his or her rights.