Employers in Massachusetts are prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of gender under the Civil Rights Act of 1963 and the Equal Pay Act. Accordingly, gender may not be the basis for any employer decisions regarding pay, hiring policies, or promotion requirements. They must also make sure that working environments will not be hostile towards a certain gender and that the work atmosphere is not overly sexual.
What Must be Proven in a Discrimination Claim?
Under the Equal Pay act, discrimination can be proven if men and women both work in the same place, do the same job, but are nevertheless paid differently. Discrimination claims in Suffolk County can be proven where the employer only hires one gender, promotes employees on the basis of gender, or acts in retaliation against a worker who has complained of employer misconduct.
When is Sexual Harassment Prohibited?
Sexual harassment encompasses any unwelcome or unwanted conduct of a sexual nature that is directed at the victim, whether it is physical or verbal. A Suffolk County employer may be held liable for the unwelcome conduct, even if it was an employee's co-worker who engaged in the sexual harassment.
Massachusetts employers may also be liable for allowing conduct to lead to a work environment that is overly sexual. It can be difficult to prove gender discrimination without first obtaining a lawyer, since specifics such as proving intent can often be complicated. There might also be procedures that must be followed in detail when one pursues a claim.