What is Unlawful Retaliation Under Massachusetts Law?
Unlawful Retaliation in Massachusetts: Know Your Rights
While Massachusetts operates under the "at-will" employment doctrine, it's essential to understand that certain exceptions protect employees from retaliation for engaging in legally protected activities. Discover your rights regarding unlawful retaliation and learn more about the common scenarios where retaliation may occur.
Reporting or Opposing Discrimination
Reporting or opposing workplace discrimination is protected activity under the law. This includes reporting personal experiences of discrimination, participating in EEOC or MCAD proceedings, or actively opposing discrimination within your workplace. Your actions are protected, provided you have a reasonable, good faith belief that unlawful discrimination is taking place.
Reporting or Opposing Sexual Harassment
If you report sexual harassment and face adverse employment actions like termination or discipline, you may have a valid retaliation claim. Your belief in the harassment's unlawfulness must be reasonable and in good faith.
Using Family Medical Leave or Sick Time
Massachusetts laws strictly prohibit retaliation for taking time off under the Paid Family Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) and the Earned Sick Time Law. Negative actions within six months of requesting or taking leave under PFMLA are presumed retaliatory.
Asserting Rights Under the Wage and Hour Laws
Expressing concerns about late wages, questioning overtime pay eligibility, reporting pay discrepancies, disputing independent contractor classification, or other wage and hour complaints should not result in retaliation.
Filing a Workers Compensation Claim
Injured on the job? You have the right to workers' compensation benefits, even if your employer disputes your claim. They are not allowed to punish you for seeking these benefits, or otherwise retaliate against you for using workers compensation.
Public Employee Whistleblower Protection
Public employees, including those in state, county, city, or town roles, receive protection under the Massachusetts Whistleblower Act. It shields them from retaliation when disclosing, threatening to disclose, or opposing potentially unlawful actions or risks to public health, safety, or the environment.
Health Care Worker Whistleblower Protection
Health care providers involved in patient care receive whistleblower protection when disclosing or objecting to practices they reasonably believe violate laws, regulations, policies, or professional standards in health care facilities.
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Wondering if You Have a Claim for Retaliation?
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Our experienced legal team can provide expert guidance and representation to help you navigate complex employment law cases, ensuring your rights are protected and seeking justice if you've faced unlawful retaliation in the workplace. You can use the button below to schedule a call back from a member of our team, or give us a call at 781-784-2322.