In Massachusetts, all workers have a right to work in a reasonably peaceful and tolerant environment, and all employers are responsible for creating such a work environment. When a worker is subjected to certain types of harassment in his or her workplace, he or she may bring a lawsuit against the employer. In Massachusetts, sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal under the anti-discrimination laws. Under Massachusetts law, there are two primary categories of sexual harassment, both of which are illegal under Massachusetts anti-discrimination laws.
Quid Pro Quo Harassment
Quid pro quo harassment takes the form of sexual advances or requests for sexual favors. It also includes other verbal or physical conduct when the submission or rejection becomes the basis for employment decisions or a term or condition of employment. In other words, if you feel like sex or related acts are “part of the job,” you may have a quid pro quo harassment claim.
Hostile Work Environment
Hostile work environment also takes the form of sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, but it includes other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive work environment. In other words, if you reasonably feel like your job performance is being interfered with because of sex or related acts, you may have a hostile work environment claim.
An employer has broad liability for sexual harassment as it is liable for the sexual harassment of employees by managers and persons with supervisory authority, regardless of whether the employer knows of the conduct. An employer may also be liable for sexual harassment committed by persons without actual or apparent supervisory authority, such as co-workers. Furthermore, an employer may be liable for the sexual harassment of its employees by certain non-employees, such as customers, patients, clients, independent contractors or other acquaintances. By law, Massachusetts employers with six or more employees must also adopt a written policy against sexual harassment. Similarly, Massachusetts law encourages employers to conduct education and training programs on sexual harassment for all employees on a regular basis.
How Can the Law Office of Thomas R. Davis Help You?
If you believe you have been subjected to quid pro quo harassment or a hostile work environment, we recommend you immediately take two steps. First, you should immediately report the harassing conduct to your employer and keep a detailed record of the conduct you are being subjected to. Second, you should contact an attorney to discuss your legal options. During this process, it’s important to keep in mind that an employer cannot retaliate against an employee for reporting a quid pro quo or hostile work environment or for filing a claim against the employer.
Call the Law Office of Thomas R. Davis today to schedule a free, no obligation attorney consultation. At our consultation, we will discuss your case in more detail and explain your legal rights and options moving forward. If your goal is to get what you are entitled to, it is imperative to have a strong advocate by your side. Our law office is dedicated to helping individuals and families get through the legal process as successfully and smoothly as possible. We are dedicated to representing the best interests of employees.
If you have any questions regarding sexual harassment in the workplace, call us any time at (617) 431-3887 for a free, no obligation attorney consultation.
We take most employment law cases on a contingency fee basis so that inability to pay for an attorney does not hold you back. We are here to provide you with the quality representation that you deserve.