Harassment in the workplace is not tolerated here in Massachusetts or across the nation for that matter. It’s something that not only employees need to know but employers as well. That’s because harassment that goes unaddressed by management can lead to a hostile work environment, which can leave a victim of harassment feeling unsafe and even upset that their employer is failing to uphold the law and remedy the situation.
As you may already know, harassment can come in many forms and may even be directed toward a protected class. It’s important to know that this is not only against Massachusetts law, it’s also against federal law as well. Things like sexual harassment and treating a person with a handicap in an adverse way are all forms of discrimination, are just two examples of forms of harassment. If a complaint were to be made regarding this behavior, management would be required to act accordingly or risk negative consequences.
As you can imagine, an employee who feels threatened in the workplace, but also feels as if management is not addressing the issue properly, may seek legal representation. Because discrimination in the workplace, harassment, and a hostile work environment can all become elements of a civil lawsuit, it’s just as important for an employee to know their rights in a case as it is for en employer. A skilled lawyer with experience in business law and employment law, such as our attorneys here at Seder & Chandler, LLP, can help do this.
Everyone has the right to succeed in their work environment. But when discrimination and harassment lead to a hostile work environment, it can be difficult to achieve this success. If an employer fails to correct the problem, an employee can feel as if their rights aren’t being acknowledged or that the law isn’t being followed. This combination oftentimes leads to legal actions that can leave an employer liable for their mistakes.
Sources: The U.S. Department of the Interior, “Hostile Work Environment,” Accessed May 14, 2015
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Guidelines,” Accessed May 14, 2015
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, “Fact Sheet: Employment Discrimination on the Basis of Handicap,” Accessed May 14, 2015