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Defining Sexual Harassment in Massachusetts
Sexual harassment in Massachusetts is specifically defined by Chapter 151B of Massachusetts General Laws, also known as the Fair Employment Practices Act. The state laws outline two types of sexual harassment – quid pro quo and hostile work environment sexual harassment. The conduct may either be implicit or explicit.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment (this for that) involves one person offering benefits to another in exchange for sexual favors. The benefits can include a raise, promotion or other matter of interest to the victim. In order to prove that quid pro quo sexual harassment has occurred, the victim must establish that the harasser made advances or requests that were sexual in nature, that the conduct was unwelcome, that the victim rejected the advances and that the victim’s job was someone affected adversely. The victim may also have a valid claim for sexual harassment if they submitted to the harassment but only because they were in fear of losing their job. Since the actions can be implicit in nature, a harasser may imply that a victim will receive some sort of benefit or may have their position be affected negatively.
Hostile work environment sexual harassment in Massachusetts involves “sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical nature when such advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or sexually offensive work environment.” Those who wish to come forward with a hostile work environment allegation must prove that they were subjected to conduct that was of a sexual nature, that the conduct was unwelcome, that it created a hostile or intimidating work environment and that the behavior interfered with the victim’s performance at work.
When it comes to hostile work environment allegations, the conduct must be proven to be humiliating, offensive and hostile not only to the victim, but to the average person. For example, if an employee claiming sexual harassment was offended but the conduct itself is not found to be offensive to the average person, then no hostile work environment has been created. Conversely, the employee is not offended, but evidence of offensive behavior occurred, no hostile work environment was created, and therefore, there are no grounds for sexual harassment.
Seeking Legal Help in Massachusetts for Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment allegations are taken very seriously in Massachusetts. The victims of sexual harassment in Massachusetts may file a complaint with both the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. In addition, victims may also turn to a sexual harassment lawyer to represent their interests. No one should have to suffer at the hands of a sexual offender, and Massachusetts law protects those who have been hurt by sexual harassment.
Hiring a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in Massachusetts
Any individual that has been subjected to quid pro quo or hostile work environment sexual harassment in Massachusetts may solicit the help of a Massachusetts sexual harassment lawyer. Sexual harassment attorneys work hard to ensure that the unwanted sexual conduct ceases immediately and that the perpetrator is put to justice.
Victims of sexual harassment deserve to work in an environment that is free from hostility, and sexual harassment lawyers aim to do just that. They will see to it that the offender does not harm the victim again nor target another person in the future. When victims have a leading sexual harassment attorney working on their case, they can rest assured that their cases will end with the best possible outcome.
Anyone who is found to be the victim of sexual harassment in Massachusetts may also be eligible to receive compensation for their pain and suffering. No one should have to suffer in a hostile work environment or be subjected to quid pro quo requests at work. Sexual harassment lawyers do whatever it takes to make sure the unwanted conduct ends once and for all and never happens again.
Although victims have a right to come forward and their jobs may not be affected by complaining of sexual harassment, still, there are victims that do not speak up because they are either embarrassed or afraid that the harasser will retaliate. Unfortunately, by not saying anything, this almost always ensures that the offender continues what they are doing. Victims should not wait until it’s too late to seek help or until matters escalate. If you or someone you know have been the victim of a sexual harassment incident in Massachusetts, speak to a leading sexual harassment attorney immediately to fight for your rights.