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Our Boston, MA Sexual Harassment Lawyer Experts and Massachusetts Sexual Assault Attorney Specialists Handle All Types of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Claims. Call Our Boston Lawyers Today at 617-787-3700.

Sexual Harassment

Massachusetts Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

What is Massachusetts quid pro quo sexual harassment?

Chapter 151B, Section 1(18) of the Massachusetts General Laws defines "quid pro quo" sexual harassment as:

“… sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when . . . submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or as a basis for employment decisions.…”

This type of Massachusetts sexual harassment may range from uncomfortable sexual comments to inappropriate touching. In order to be considered illegal, the sexual advances must be unsolicited and clearly shown to be unwelcome. You may have been a victim of quid pro quo harassment if your supervisor told you that you could only receive a promotion if you submitted to his or her sexual requests, or if your Massachusetts employer threatened to fire you if you complained about being sexually harassed.

If you have experienced Massachusetts quid pro harassment, it is important that you act right away to stop this abusive behavior. Please call our Boston, MA sexual harassment attorneys today at 617-787-3700 or email us at info@gilhoylaw.com to set up a free and confidential consultation. Our highly skilled Boston sexual harassment attorneys will explain your rights to you and help you decide the best course of action to pursue your Massachusetts sexual harassment claim.

What do I need to demonstrate to prove Massachusetts quid pro quo sexual harassment?

In order to prove quid Massachusetts pro quo sexual harassment, an employee must demonstrate that the alleged harasser made sexual advances, either verbal or physical, or requested sexual favors that were unwelcome by the employee.

The Massachusetts employee must then either show that he or she rejected these sexual advances and that the terms or conditions of the employee’s job status were negatively impacted by his or her refusal to submit to or accept the sexual conduct OR establish that he or she submitted to the sexual harassment out of fear of adverse consequences for his or her employment.

Examples of adverse consequences for employment include termination, demotion, denial of benefits, poor or fewer work hours, changed job duties, lowered wages or unfair employment reviews. In order to maintain a successful Massachusetts quid pro quo sexual harassment case, the claimant must establish that the authority figure in control of the terms or conditions of their employment either threatened one of these adverse consequences if sexual favors were not performed or the refusal to submit to sexual conduct resulted in one of these adverse consequences. When this is shown, the sexual conduct had a causal relationship to the adverse actions towards their employment and the case can be proven.

What is a Massachusetts prima facie case?

A Massachusetts prima facie case is established when it is shown that the Massachusetts employer or other authority at the workplace unlawfully sexually discriminated against or sexually harassed the employee. This type of case is established once an employee has proven the above elements, or in other words, met the burden of proof.

What is called the burden of production then shifts to the alleged harasser who must then respond with a legitimate and reasonable explanation for his or her decision to take adverse employment actions, other than sexual harassment, regarding the claimant’s employment. If the employer is able to provide credible evidence to back up their reason, the employee must then show that the explanation offered was not true and only served as a pretext for sexual harassment.

For example, an employee may claim that she experienced quid pro quo sexual harassment when her boss demoted her after she declined an invitation to go on a date. By refusing to go on the date, the employee shows that the sexual advance was unwelcome. The boss may then respond that she was demoted because she was not performing well in her position. The employee would then need to prove that this was not in fact the case, and that her boss’s sexual conduct was motivated by her rejection of a date. If the demotion occurred soon after the request for a date, it will be easier for her to prove that there was a causal connection between the two events.

Massachusetts Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment

What is Massachusetts hostile work environment sexual harassment?

Under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 151B, Section 1(18), Massachusetts hostile work environment harassment is defined as:

“… sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual 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….”

Massachusetts sexual harassment of this nature can range from constant sexual jokes to inappropriate physical contact. In order to constitute Massachusetts sexual harassment, the sexual advances must be shown to have been uninvited and unwanted. If your supervisor made uncomfortable comments about sex in front of your coworkers or touched you in ways that made you feel violated in your workplace, you may have been a victim of hostile work environment sexual harassment.

If you have experienced Massachusetts hostile work environment sexual harassment, it is critical that you act immediately to put a halt to this abusive behavior. Please call our highly skilled Boston sexual harassment attorneys today at 617-787-3700 or email us at info@gilhoylaw.com to set up a free and confidential consultation. Our Boston, Massachusetts sexual harassment lawyers will help you understand your rights and plan the next steps to obtain justice for you regarding your Massachusetts sexual harassment claim.

What types of conduct create a Massachusetts hostile work environment?

A Massachusetts hostile work environment constituting Massachusetts sexual harassment may arise from a variety of offensive sexual behaviors, including:

  • Inappropriate touching
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Sexual jokes, gossip, comments or innuendos
  • Leering, whistling or sexual gestures
  • Displays of sexually suggestive pictures and objects

Even if the Massachusetts harassment is not motivated by sexual desire, it may still constitute sexual harassment. This is especially relevant to same-sex harassment, where the alleged harasser may claim not to be homosexual. Their inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature may still be found to be harassment.

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the administrative body in Massachusetts that deals with Massachusetts sexual harassment claims, must determine whether the alleged sexual conduct is both subjectively and objectively offensive. This means that the Massachusetts sexual harassment must be seen as intimidating and humiliating to both the claimant and another reasonable third party.

In order to decide whether the sexual behavior is objectively offensive, the Commission assesses the severity and pervasiveness of the conduct. Pervasive conduct is demonstrated by showing steady and continued abusive treatment, and may also involve sexual harassment of multiple people in the workplace. While Massachusetts sexual harassment is generally frequent and repetitive, a single severe incident may still be considered sexual harassment. An isolated incident or scattered minor comments are usually insufficient to qualify as Massachusetts sexual harassment.

What do I need to show to prove Massachusetts hostile work environment harassment?

In order for a Massachusetts hostile work environment harassment claim to be successful, the claimant must show that he or she faced ridicule, degradation or humiliation at the workplace. This intimidating environment must be so serious and pervasive that it changed the conditions of employment or made it impossible for the employee to fulfill his or her basic job functions.

It must also be established that the sexual advances were unwelcome and unsolicited. If the employee initiated the sexual conduct or willingly participated in a sexually charged workplace, he or she will likely not be found to be a victim of sexual harassment. However, if the employee submitted to sexual favors or put up with the harassment in order to prevent continued targeted harassment, cope with the hostile environment or maintain the terms of conditions of his or her job, the harassment is NOT considered welcome and a Massachusetts sexual harassment claim can be demonstrated. Therefore, Massachusetts sexual harassment is not determined by whether or not the claimant engaged in the sexual activity, but rather whether the sexual behavior was invited. Additionally, while an employee should feel comfortable rejecting an authority’s sexual advances, an employee does not need to communicate his or her discomfort surrounding the harassment. The employee only needs to fail to respond positively in order for the conduct to be considered unwelcome.

If it is more convenient for you, Attorney Gil Hoy will be happy to travel to your home, the office or another place of your choice to meet with you to discuss your needs regarding your Massachusetts sexual harassment claim and the damages that you have sustained.

Please feel free to call our Boston, MA sexual harassment attorneys 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 617-787-3700. You may also email us at info@gilhoylaw.com. Even if you get our answering service, please leave a message for our Massachusetts sexual harassment attorneys. One of our expert Boston, Massachusetts sexual harassment attorneys will call you back right away.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault occurs under Massachusetts law when an individual touches any part of another person’s body in a sexual manner without that person’s authorization or consent. Sexual assault includes a number of sexual acts, such as rape, attempted rape, unwanted sexual contact or threats, sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, sodomy, fondling and indecent exposure.

Rape

Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 265, Section 22, defines rape as sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse, which would include vaginal, oral or anal sex. Rape is further broken down into four classifications under Massachusetts statutory and common law.

  1. Forcible Rape of a Child Under 16 Years of Age

  2. Statutory Rape of a Child Under 16 Years of Age

  3. Rape of an Adult (a Person 16 Years of Age or Older)

  4. Aggravated Rape of an Adult (a Person 16 Years of Age or Older)

Generally the criminal punishment for an individual’s first rape offense is no more than twenty years in prison. However, if the rape involves a child or the aggravated rape of an adult, the offender can face life in prison for his or her first offense.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse can occur during sexual intercourse or during any other sexual act in which the conduct causes pain, causes injury, transmits a sexual disease or causes humiliation to the victim. Many states use the term sexual abuse interchangeably with sexual assault and rape. However, some states create a distinction between the three types of acts.

Regardless of what type of sexual assault has occurred, the victim is entitled to monetary relief for the illegal acts committed against him or her. All types of sexual assault are hurtful, discouraging and emotionally tolling.

Our Boston sexual abuse attorneys are experienced in working with sensitive cases involving Massachusetts sexual assault. Our Boston sexual assault lawyers fully believe that Massachusetts sexual assault victims deserve to have someone in their corner to tirelessly and relentlessly fight for their rights until they receive just and fair relief.

How to Prove Sexual Assault

Before someone will be charged with sexual assault, the state must prove that there was sexual contact or penetration and that the victim did not consent to the act. Lack of consent is the key element of sexual assault. If the victim consented to the sexual contact, generally the offender will not be considered to have committed sexual assault.

However, there are circumstances where the victim’s consent may be void, such as situations where the offender used force or threats to convince the victim to consent or where the victim was unconscious or under the influence of drugs at the time of the sexual act. Additionally, if the victim was a minor or was suffering from a mental illness, the consent may also be void.

If you or your loved one has been sexually assaulted, please contact our highly experienced Boston, MA sexual assault attorneys at the Law Offices of Gilbert R. Hoy, Jr. and Affiliates at (617) 787-3700 or you can email our Boston lawyers at info@gilhoylaw.com.

Our Boston, MA Sexual Harassment Lawyer Specialists Are Available 24/7 at 617-787-3700. You Can Also Email Our Massachusetts Sexual Assault Attorney Experts at info@gilhoylaw.com. Our Boston, MA Attorneys Handle All Types of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Claims. Your Needs Are Our Top Priority!
Call Our Boston, Massachusetts Sexual Harassment Lawyer Experts or Massachusetts Sexual Assault Attorney Specialists 24/7 at 617-787-3700 or Email Us at info@gilhoylaw.com. Our Boston Lawyers Are Just a Phone Call Away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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