Sexual Harassment Case Studies
One of the most common case types we see involve claims of employment discrimination and/or sexual harassment in the workplace. Below are some examples of people we have helped resolve harassment and discrimination claims by getting compensation for back wages and emotional distress.
Discrimination Based on Race or National Origin
An African American woman worked in human resources for a private educational institution. She receive exceptional performance ratings for the majority of her time there.
For the first part of her tenure, her supervisor was also a woman of color. When that supervisor left, she faced increasingly hostile treatment from new management. She raised concerns about that hostile treatment. She also raised concerns with management about hostile treatment of other African American employees.
After conducting an investigation that revealed that there was a hostile work environment based on race, management terminated her employment. We filed a charge of discrimination with the MCAD and ultimately reached a favorable settlement for her.
A Brazilian employee and her husband worked for a bakery products company for many years. Despite limited English, they performed their jobs well. After the company was sold, new management came on board. They immediately noticed a difference, as their supervisor seemed to be actively avoiding them and the only other Brazilian employee in the facility.
That supervisor then began giving them negative "points" for minor things that other white employees did without consequences. Those points were then used to justify their termination.
After filing a claim of race and national origin discrimination in MCAD, we reached a favorable settlement for both of them.
Discrimination Based on Sex
A female sales representative for an insurance company saw the most favorable territories slowly taken away from her and given to her younger male colleagues. She was then given a new sales quota that was much more aggressive than that of her male colleagues. When she did not meet the quota she was given a negative performance rating then terminated. We brought a claim of sex discrimination and reached a favorable settlement for her.
A female engineer at a pharmaceutical company was terminated shortly after her new male manager was hired. The male manager was hostile to her from the beginning, and immediately began transitioning her assignments to a more junior male colleague. She was then fired without a credible explanation. We brought a claim of workplace discrimination against the company and reached a settlement for her.
A female lawyer was hired at a law firm. She later learned that her starting pay was significantly below that of a male lawyer with the same qualifications hired at the same time. She brought this to management's attention. After grudgingly adjusting her pay, the law firm terminated her employment. We brought claims of sex discrimination and violation of the Equal Pay Act. After initial discovery we reached a favorable settlement for her.
Discrimination Based on Disability
A young employee of a fast food franchise suffered a seizure at work. Her supervisor saw the incident on tape, informed the employee that she did not want customers seeing that kind of thing, and fired her. We brought suit under state discrimination laws and the Americans With Disabilities Act and were able to achieve a favorable settlement for her.
An older worker at an insurance company went on leave for a serious illness. When she returned, she was harshly penalized for taking shorter amounts of time to see doctors and continue with her recovery. Shortly after her return she was terminated.
After filing with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination we were able to secure compensation for her termination.
A hospital worker was diagnosed with a seizure disorder. Her employer required her to get medical clearance to return to work, which she did. Nonetheless, the employer would not allow her to perform her primary duties. The employer instead insisted that she apply for disability and then terminated her employment.
We filed with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and reached a settlement for her after mediation.
Sexual Harassment and Retaliation
A female employee at a large company had an experience with a co-worker in the break room that she found sexually offensive and uncomfortable. She reported this to her manager. Shortly thereafter she was fired for not being a fit with the company "culture." We were able to negotiate a favorable severance package without filing a lawsuit.
A female employee at a state-run residential facility was experiencing repeated harassment by a male co-worker. This included comments that were clearly unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate personal questions to the female employee. When she reported this conduct, the employer did not conduct an appropriate investigation and ultimately terminated her employment. The male employee was not fired or disciplined. We filed a complaint claiming discrimination and harassment and reached a favorable settlement for her.
Discrimination Based on Pregnancy
A female sales representative for a paper products company was pregnant with her first child. She had to start her maternity leave early due to pregnancy complications.
When she returned to work, her employer was openly hostile to her new responsibilities as a parent. She was disciplined for taking time to bring her infant to medical appointments and fired shortly after her return. We filed a claim of pregnancy discrimination and reached a favorable settlement after mediation.
Discrimination Based on Age
A sales representative for an office supply company was offered an early retirement package. He was the oldest person in his division. Shortly after he declined to accept the package, he was terminated.
An administrative employee in her seventies took some time off from work to have hip surgery. They day she returned to work, her much younger manager saw her walking unsteadily and ordered her out of the office. She was then terminated.
How We Can Help
Other employment cases we have handled include claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identify under Massachusetts law. We have also filed an settled claims based on religious discrimination and retaliation for taking medical leave.
We can help you assess whether you have a discrimination claim and secure any compensation you are owed. You can use the button below to schedule a call back from a member of our team, give us a call at 781-784-2322, or fill out our web form to let us know a little more about your situation.
"Emily, a chief partner, and the two other lawyers at SLN Law who worked on my case were extremely competent and approachable. They were responsive to inquiries and they thoughtfully explained, as needed, complex legal terms. I was very well represented at each stage of a protracted legal case against a major national firm." Brian R.
"Emily is an incredible resource of knowledge on employment law. She helped guide us on how to structure our employee classifications and made adjustments to our consulting agreements so our business is better protected and positioned. She's both law-savvy and business minded - great asset to have when launching/growing a business." Diana B.
"SLN represented me in a complicated employment-related dispute. What could have been a prolonged nightmare for me was handled swiftly and skillfully, and with fairness and dignity." Smita N.
"Long overdue public words of gratitude for Emily and her associates' work on my behalf. They were so very respectful of me during an emotionally and financially ridden time -- and that mattered more than the positive result. May all clients have such advocates on their sides!" Donna B.
"Emily Smith Lee handled my age discrimination case against my former employer. She was thorough and professional throughout the whole legal process. Due to her knowledge and efforts we came to an out of court financial settlement with a victory. I would highly recommend Emily to anyone as an extremely competent attorney." Mark B.
"After more than a year of discrimination and harassment in my previous position at a teaching hospital, I was finally at the point when I knew I needed help, otherwise I could break. Thus, I started to search Massachusetts Employment regulations, and one of my Google searches brought me to an advertisement for Emily E. Smith-Lee’s book “Rules of the Road. What You Need to Know About Employment Laws in Massachusetts.” It was my lucky day, and the start of my road out of the continued misery in my workplace... I would like sincerely to thank them both for their excellent job, and emotional support and encouragement. If you feel harassed, bullied, or discriminated against, Emily and Jack are the ones who will go out of their way to help you." Valentina W.