Blog » Discrimination

  • Lesbian, Gay, and Transgender Discrimination in the Workplace

    Nov 13, 2013

    Historically, state and federal non-discrimination laws have not afforded protection to lesbian, gay and transgender individuals in the workplace.  In recent years, however, more and more states have passed laws prohibiting such discrimination the workplace.  As a recent Washington Post article reports, only 21 states and the District of Columbia have laws that prohibit discrimination of lesbians and gays in the workplace.  And only 17 states and the District of Columbia have laws that prohibit transgender discrimination in the workplace. Massachusetts has laws in effect that protect ag

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  • Family Leave Requirements under Massachusetts and Federal Law

    Oct 28, 2013

    Both Federal and Massachusetts laws provide women with job leave rights when they give birth or adopt a child. A bill recently filed in the Massachusetts legislature proposes amending state law to give men paternity leave rights. This would bring Massachusetts more in line with federal law on family leave, which is gender neutral. In Massachusetts, under the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA), women are allowed to take 8 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.   An employee who has given birth to twins is entitled to eight weeks unpaid leave for each child. Maternity leave can be taken for

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  • Age Discrimination Claims in Massachusetts

    Feb 8, 2012

    During the recession many companies in Massachusetts have been laying off or firing employees who are older workers.   Employees who have been let go are often concerned that their employer may have violated Massachusetts or federal age discrimination laws. Laws,  including Massachusetts General Laws 151B and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA),  provide protections to employees and prohibit discrimination in employment.  An employer may not legally subject an employee to an “adverse action” in employment because of the employee’s age, if the employ

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  • Massachusetts Extends Legal Protections to Transgender Individuals

    Nov 26, 2011

    Massachusetts has extended the protection of its civil rights laws to to transgender individuals, adding protections against discrimination in housing education, employment and credit.  The bill, which was signed by Governor Deval Patrick on November 23, 2011,  adds gender identity as a protected category to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 151B, the state’s anti-discrimination law.   Previously the state’s anti-discrimination statute prohibited employers from discriminating against an employee because of that individual’s race,  color,  religious creed,  national o

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  • Are You About to Lose Your Job?: Six Warning Signs

    Oct 19, 2011

    If you work for a company in Massachusetts, how do you know if you are about to lose your job and that you may need to start considering your options?  Here are five warning signs that may eventually result in an employee filing for unemployment: (1)   You’ve been put on a performance improvement plan.  By the time an employee is on a performance improvement plan, management has likely had serious discussions about the fit of that employee within the organization.  While management may truly want to give the employee another opportunity to succeed, the reality is that a performance im

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  • MCAD Orders Promotion of Professor in Racial and Gender Discrimination and Retaliation Case

    Jun 24, 2011

    The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, (“MCAD”) has found in favor of Lulu Sun, an Associate professor of English,  on her claim that her employer,  the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth denied her a promotion to full professor on the basis of her gender, race and Chinese ancestry (gender and racial discrimination).   The hearing officer considered whether Professor Sun was treated differently from similarly-situated qualified professors who were not in her protected class concerning her gender, race and ancestry.   In ruling on the racial and gender discriminatio

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  • Upcoming Presentation on Severance Agreements

    Jan 19, 2011

    On Tuesday,  January 25th at noon I will present on what you need to know about severance agreements at the Boston Society of Architects for the Admistration and HR Group.  We’ll discuss when it is appropriate to use severance agreements, what terms are typically negotiated, and what needs to be in the agreement in order to release age discrimination claims.  We’ll also briefly discuss the recent race discrimination decision described in the prior post. If you have any questions concerning severance agreements, contact Boston, Massachusetts employment lawyer Maura Greene at 61

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  • MCAD Finds White Boss Liable for Racial Harassment Against White Employee In “Associational Discrimination” Case

    Jan 6, 2011

    The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination in a decision dated December 22, 2010, found in favor of a white heavy equipment operator named Eric Grzych on his complaint that his Caucasian boss, Vincent Iuliano, racially harassed him on the basis of his association with his fiancee, a black woman of Jamaican national origin.  Mr. Grzych complained that whenever he was in the office, Mr. Iuliano greeted him with offensive racist comments relating to his association with his fiancee.  Mr. Grzych claimed that his boss subjected him to a racially hostile environment by making the offen

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  • MCAD’s Testing Program Targets Discriminatory Hiring Practices

    Nov 12, 2010

    Although not widely known among employers, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (“MCAD”) has a testing program that is designed to test, gather data and make recommendations to initiate claims of discriminatory hiring practices.  The MCAD uses “Paired Testing” whereby two job candidates who are matched in credentials, except for some characteristic such as age, race or sex, apply for similar positions.  The MCAD analyzes the employer’s responses to job applicants to determine whether the company engaged in discriminatory hiring or placement pract

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  • Supreme Judicial Court Interprets Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA)

    Aug 20, 2010

    The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in an August decision in Global Naps, Inc. v. Awiszus decided that a female employee who was absent from work for more than eight weeks was not entitled to the protections of the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA).  Although this story has been widely reported in the media, the purpose of this post is to comment upon the wider implications of the court’s ruling. The employee, Sandy Stephens, was employed as a housekeeper for the president of Global Naps, Inc. (“Global”), a telecommunications company.  Stephens alleged in her lawsuit that

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  • Welcome: Massachusetts Employment Blog

    Jun 8, 2010

    Welcome and thank you for visiting our Massachusetts employment  blog. We are Boston employment lawyers, located on Beacon Hill.  We represent individual employees in workplace matters.  We handle sexual harassment, age discrimination, racial discrimination and other discrimination cases.  Our firm has successfully recovered overtime pay, wages, tips and commissions for employees.  We represent executives and other professionals who are transitioning out of their jobs.  We have successfully resolved glass ceiling and failure to promote cases.  We represent individuals in biotechnology,

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