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Have you or a loved one been the victim of discrimination at the workplace? Discrimination and harassment in the workplace can be very subtle and difficult to uncover as it may appear in many forms. Age, race, gender, religion, and even a person’s physical appearance can all be the basis of discriminatory or harassing actions.
At Altman & Altman LLP, our attorneys regularly represent clients throughout Massachusetts that have endured a substandard level of dignity and respect at the hands of their employers.
Massachusetts is an "at will" employment state. The employer-employee relationship may be terminated by either party, at any time, for any reason. However, it is illegal for an employer to terminate or take any adverse action, such as a decrease in wages or failure to hire, against an employee based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin or physical appearance. It is also against the law for an employer in Boston to retaliate against an employee who acts as a whistleblower, meaning that he or she opposes, reports, or speaks out against any type of discrimination or harassment.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act (M.G.L. c. 151B), it is unlawful to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of his or her race, color, or national origin. Both state and federal law prohibit intentional discrimination as well as neutral job policies that disproportionately affect minorities in a negative way.
Boston Employers are not only liable for their conduct but for any conduct in the workplace that creates an intimidating, hostile, and/or offensive work environment, or that interferes with an employee's work performance. Verbal or physical conduct based on an individual's race, color, or national origin, ethnic slurs or jokes, or other offensive or derogatory comments are all examples of workplace discrimination and harassment.
Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination and therefore sexual harassment in the workplace violates federal and state laws including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Employment Practices Act (M.G.L. c. 151B), and the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act.
Sexual harassment can include verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, requests for sexual favors, unwanted advances, unwelcome touching or inappropriate comments. Words alone are typically sufficient to constitute either type of sexual harassment.
There are two forms of sexual harassment: (1) quid pro quo, and (2) hostile work environment.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs where submission to or rejection of harassing conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions or is made a condition of employment. An employer’s refusal of a raise or promotion based on the denial of any sexual advance is an example of quid pro quo sexual harassment.
Hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when unwelcome sexual conduct unreasonably interferes with an employee's job performance or creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment. This form of sexual harassment may include: sexually offensive, explicit or sexist signs, cartoons, calendars, literature or photographs displayed in plain view, repeated requests for sexual favors, demeaning sexual inquiries and vulgarities, and offensive or degrading language. Under hostile work environment harassment, the harassment need not result in an adverse employment action to be actionable.
It is an unfortunate reality that discrimination continues to be prevalent in many workplaces, however, we have federal, state, and local laws that protect us and can help to right a wrong.
Whether you have experienced a discriminatory hiring process, lost a promotion based on discriminatory reasons, received discriminatorily unequal pay, were terminated as a result of discriminatory evaluations, were refused reasonable accommodations to your religious needs or disability, or were retaliated against for supporting a co-worker's claims of discrimination, we can guide you to a positive resolution.
At Altman & Altman LLP, our employment discrimination attorneys can determine whether you have grounds to file a claim for your losses against your employer, and we will prevent any employer or insurance company from giving you an incomplete settlement and taking away your right to file a discrimination lawsuit at a later date.
Our Massachusetts employment discrimination attorneys will investigate your claim, retain experts, examine all physical evidence such as emails and performance reviews, interview witnesses, and begin preparing your case for trial if necessary.