Sexual harassment in the workplace is unlawful under both Massachusetts and Federal Law because a workplace infected with sexually charged harassment or abuse and related bad behavior (bullying) greatly restricts the participation of individuals in the workplace.
Unwanted advances, requests for sex, and other conduct such as sex jokes (“adult humor”), leering and ogling amounts to sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct affects your employment, interferes with your work performance or creates a work environment that is intimidating, offensive or hostile.
Sexual harassment can occur in many ways and below are just a few examples of this:
- The victim can be a man; the victim can be a woman. The harasser may be a woman; the harasser may be a man. A woman could harass another woman; a man could harass another man.
- The harasser does not have to be the victim's supervisor. The harasser could also be a co-worker, a supervisor in another area, or even a non-employee.
- You do not have to be the person harassed to be a victim. Anyone affected by the offensive conduct can be a victim.
- may occur without You do not have to be fired or suffer financial harm to be a victim of Unlawful sexual harassment.
If you are a victim, it is helpful to directly inform the harasser, preferably in a email or memo, that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. You should use any employer complaint mechanism available such as those that may be found in the employee’s handbook or on the employer’s website.
When evaluating sexual harassment, all the facts and circumstances are examined: the nature of the sexual advances or offensive behavior, and the context in which the conduct occurred. Each case usually has its own unique facts and the strength and determinations made at MCAD and EEOC are made from the credible evidence on a case-by-case basis.
Employment Law Links
- Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
- Massachusetts Department of Labor
- Massachusetts Employee Assistance Department
- U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission
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The Brown Law Firm, LLC gives each client personalized attention and service and will fight hard to get the best result for you. Contact us today with any questions you have about sexual harassment.