Employment Lawyer Protecting Your Rights in the Workplace
Excelling at your job and continuing to advance in your career can be challenging enough. When you are also subjected to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment, things can become impossible. Too often, employers allow workplace harassment to persist, creating a toxic work environment. Fortunately, several state and federal laws prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace and provide protections to employees who face this illegal conduct. Boston sexual harassment lawyer Barry Feinstein proudly assists workers with asserting their right to be free from sexual harassment on the job. He understands how daunting and intimidating it can be to stand up to your harasser or employer. You may fear backlash from your coworkers or supervisors, or you may worry that your financial security will be jeopardized. However, there are also many protections against retaliation for reporting harassment. As an experienced trial attorney, Barry Feinstein is ready to help you bring a claim against any party that may have wronged you.
Federal and State Protections Against Sexual Harassment
Under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, sexual harassment is prohibited in work environments when the employer maintains 15 or more employees. Sexual harassment is defined broadly to include many types of conduct, such as unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, and unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. A sexual harassment lawyer can help Boston employees determine whether a certain incident or series of events may constitute harassment. The victim and the harasser do not need to be of the opposite sex for harassment to take place, and the harasser can be anyone at the company or a client or customer. You do not need to be the direct victim of the harassment to bring a sexual harassment claim either. Federal law also makes it clear that an employer is prohibited from retaliating against an individual who opposes any employment policies that allow sexual harassment to persist.
At the state level, the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. This law states that an employer is liable when a person who has supervisory powers engages in sexual harassment of an employee, regardless of whether the employer had actual knowledge of the harassing conduct. This includes situations in which the supervisor is not officially designated in a supervisory capacity. The supervisor will still be liable even if the perpetrator only had apparent authority. One issue that commonly arises under this law is whether the victim had a reasonable belief that the harasser had supervisory authority. Retaining an experienced sexual harassment attorney in the Boston area can help you gather sufficient evidence to satisfy this element of a claim and to overcome any defenses.
Both federal laws and the FEPA define sexual harassment broadly and generally recognize two types of sexual harassment. The first type is known as quid pro quo harassment. This involves situations in which someone asks the victim to perform sexual favors in exchange for something like a promotion, a favorable work schedule, or keeping his or her job. The second type of harassment involves conduct that creates a hostile work environment or allows it to persist. This can include many things, such as lewd jokes, offensive images, offensive speech, direct sexual advances, or other conduct of a sexual nature. This type of conduct must rise to the level of creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or offensive environment and must make it difficult for the individual to perform their job duties.
Meet with a Dedicated Boston Sexual Harassment Attorney
There is no excuse for sexual harassment in the workplace. We fight vigorously on behalf of our clients and ensure that each case receives the personalized attention and care that it deserves. Attorney Barry Feinstein can provide legal guidance to victims of sexual harassment or workplace accidents in areas around Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, and Peabody. To schedule your free consultation, call us at (800) 262-9200 or contact us online. You should not hesitate, since time may be running out on your claim.