Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Massachusetts
Sexual orientation discrimination refers to unequal treatment based on a person’s sexual orientation, whether it is intentional or not. This can take many forms, including discriminatory hiring practices, unequal pay or benefits, and hostile work environments. Massachusetts law prohibits sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace and provides a number of protections to employees who believe they have been subjected to such treatment.
Examples of Sexual Orientation Discrimination
Sexual orientation discrimination can manifest in a variety of ways. Some common examples include:
Discriminatory Hiring Practices: An employer may unfairly discriminate against an applicant based on their sexual orientation during the hiring process, such as by not considering them for a job or assuming they are not able to perform the job due to their sexual orientation.
Unequal Pay or Benefits: An employer may pay a worker less or provide them with fewer benefits based on their sexual orientation, even if they are doing the same job as a worker of a different sexual orientation.
Hostile Work Environment: An employer may create a hostile work environment for a worker based on their sexual orientation by making derogatory comments, subjecting them to harassment, or excluding them from opportunities for advancement or development.
Discrimination During Hiring and Promotions
Sexual orientation discrimination can also occur during the hiring and promotion process. For example, a worker may be passed over for a job or promotion based on their sexual orientation, even if they are qualified for the position. This type of discrimination is illegal under Massachusetts law and can result in significant penalties for employers.
Protection Under Massachusetts Law
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) is responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws in the state. If you believe you have been subjected to sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace, you can file a complaint with the MCAD. The agency will investigate your claims and, if appropriate, take legal action against the employer.
In addition, Massachusetts law prohibits retaliation against employees who file complaints of discrimination or who participate in investigations into such claims. This means that if you file a complaint of sexual orientation discrimination, your employer cannot take adverse action against you, such as demoting you or firing you.
Lawyers For Sexual Orientation Discrimination Cases
It is important to note that there are exceptions to the law. For example, some employers may be allowed to make employment decisions based on sexual orientation if they can show that sexual orientation is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) for the job in question. This is a narrow exception and applies in limited circumstances, such as when the nature of the job requires a certain level of physical or mental ability that cannot be met by a person of a certain sexual orientation.
Sexual orientation discrimination is a serious issue in the workplace and can take many forms, from discriminatory hiring practices to unequal pay or benefits. Massachusetts law provides a number of protections to employees who believe they have been subjected to such treatment. If you believe you have been the victim of sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace, you should contact Attorney Shafran to learn about your rights and options for seeking justice.