tomcleary

About Thomas Cleary

Before co-founding Cohen Cleary, P.C., Attorney Cleary worked as associate counsel with Schonland & Associates, P.C. Attorney Cleary has also served as counsel to a health care management company where he represented skilled nursing facilities, hospitals and individual clients. Today, Attorney Cleary concentrates on civil matters and devotes himself to representing clients in labor and employment law, discrimination law, sexual harassment, probate and estate litigation as well as other civil matters. Attorney Cleary is also certified as a Guardian ad Litem and is a certified member of the Mental Health Litigation Unit for the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services.

What types of comments and conduct constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace?

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
There are two basic categories of sexual harassment under Federal and Massachusetts law. The various types of sexual comments and sexual conduct should be considered with respect to these two categories of sexual harassment.

The two basic categories of sexual harassment are as follows:

1) “Quid Pro Quo” sexual harassment, and

2) “Hostile Work Environment” sexual harassment.

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 151B 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.”

In other words, quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when an employee with authority or control over another employee, offers that employee an employment benefit or advantage in exchange for sexual favors or sexual gratification. Quid pro quo sexual harassment also occurs if an employee is denied an employment benefit or advantage after refusing or rejecting a request for sexual favors or sexual acts. Examples of employment benefits or advantages include continued employment/termination, demotion/promotion, alteration of job duties, transfer of job location, changes to hours or compensation, warnings, and inaccurate job performance evaluations and reviews.

Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment

Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 151B defines “hostile work environment” sexual harassment 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.”

In other words, hostile work […]

Coming soon – A List of topics we will cover

The following is a list of topics we will cover:
1. What types of comments and conduct constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace?
2. Can unwelcome sexual comments or conduct from a person of the same gender form the basis for sexual harassment?
3. May an employer discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religious creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, or military status?
4. Are employers allowed to discriminate against an employee based on alcoholism or drug addiction?
5. May an employer retaliate against an employee for complaining about sexual harassment, discrimination, unpaid wages or other categories protected by law?
6. Are Massachusetts employers required to provide medical leave, disability accommodations, or leave pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?
7. If I am fired from my job for unfair reasons do I have a cause of action for “wrongful termination” in Massachusetts?;
8. What is the difference between an independent contractor and an employee?
9. What is the difference between an “employee at will” and a “contract employee”?
10. What recourse do I have if my employer has failed to provide payment of wages, overtime, or vacation pay in Massachusetts?
11. What are the rights and remedies for Massachusetts employees who have been misclassified as an “independent contractor”?
12. What is a “whistleblower” and are there special protections given to whistleblowers?
13. What are the […]