Newton Sexual Harassment Lawyers
No one deserves to be sexually harassed at work. Not only is sexual harassment wrong, it is also illegal under both Massachusetts and federal law.
Our law firm has long represented the victims of sexual harassment. We know that not only is it important to bring justice and to give back power to harassed employees, it’s also important to send a strong message to management and business owners that they cannot use their authority to mistreat workers. For those who are victims, lawsuits, settlements, and judgments all offer an opportunity for a measure of justice.
What Type of Conduct Constitutes Workplace Sexual Harassment?
Workplace sexual harassment includes unwelcome behavior directed at an employee because of her or his sex, including:
- Unwanted and unrequested advances or unwelcome touching, or any inappropriate comments,
- Requests for sexual favors, or
- Verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature
Sexual harassment does not have to involve actual physical contact. Words alone are typically sufficient to constitute either quid pro quo or hostile work environment sexual harassment.
Settlements & Verdicts
Settled sexual harassment complaint for male employee.
Sexual harassment and retaliation case for a woman against a physician.
Sexual harassment case for a female client against leading software company.
Sexual harassment of an employee by a department store.
Sexual harassment of a teenage girl by a local fast-food restaurant.
Common Forms of Sexual Harassment
There are two primary 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 sexually harassing conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions (such as promotion or termination) or is made a requirement of getting the job in the first place. A classic example is the employee who is fired for refusing to give in to a supervisor’s advances or a sales employee who has accounts taken away from her after she refuses to submit to sexual advances.
Hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when unwelcome and unwanted sexual conduct unreasonably interferes with an employee’s job performance or creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment, such that the employee effectively cannot carry on with her or his work. With hostile work environment harassment, the harassment does not have to lead to an actual adverse employment action, such as termination. Hostile work environment sexual harassment may include:
- Numerous requests for sexual favors
- Demeaning and degrading sexual inquiries and vulgarities
- Offensive language and jokes of a sexual nature
- Sexually explicit signs, cartoons, drawings, pictures, or photographs displayed in open and plain view
In “hostile work environment” claims, companies are generally held strictly liable for the conduct of their supervisory employees; and managers can be found individually liable for creating or contributing to a sexually harassing environment.
What Should I Do Now if I am being Sexually Harassed at Work?
First, don’t quit. If you quit you will lose important leverage. Call our firm before you quit.
Second, file a written complaint with your human resources department. In many cases, this is the only way that senior management will be aware of sexual harassment if it is not being openly done. Senior management should be given an opportunity to stop sexual harassment after being notified.
Third, document your harassment and the actions you are taking. Save emails. Keep a notebook of what happened, where and when it happened, and who may have witnessed the wrongful conduct.
Fourth, if you are fired for complaining about sexual harassment, understand that such termination, by itself, is illegal. Federal and state law both protect workers who make complaints such as sexual harassment and illegal discrimination. As a result, if you are fired, in addition to having a sexual harassment claim, you will also have a retaliatory termination claim. A company cannot retaliate against an employee who complains of sexual harassment.
Fifth, call us to learn about how we can help.
Compensation and Retribution for Sexual Harassment
We help clients who have been sexually harassed at work take back control. Once we learn about your workplace sexual harassment, we can discuss the options that might be available, which could include demanding that such harassment cease (and that you not be subject to any type of retaliatory measures), or filing a lawsuit seeking damages and compensation for your wrongful treatment.
Call Us for a Free Consultation Today to Learn About Your Rights
We often accept sexual harassment claims on a contingency fee basis, so you will not owe us any fee while we are pursuing your claims (under contingency fee arrangements, we are only entitled to a fee if we are successful in obtaining compensation).