Gay Massachusetts Employee Wins Right to Go to Trial Against Employer for Discriminatory Treatment at Work

gay massachusetts employee discriminationA Massachusetts employee has received a mixed decision from a federal judge on his claims for gender and sexual orientation discrimination.

The employee, a gay man, sued his employers, Adams and Associates and Shriver Job Corps Center, under the Massachusetts anti-discrimination law, Chapter 151B. He had been employed as a manager.

He alleged that throughout the course of his employment he was subject to discriminatory treatment on the basis that he was gay. Employees allegedly made a number of disrespectful, derisive, and sexually explicit comments to him related to his sexuality.

The employer filed a motion to dismiss the case, which the judge denied in part.

Experienced Discriminatory Treatment
By Other Employees

The employee’s allegations “could suggest discriminatory animus,” said the judge, and are more than “garden-variety expletives or annoyances.” Moreover, the employees made statements characterizing his attire, mannerisms, called him “flamboyant,” and used epithets that are derogatory to homosexuals.

Other claims, however, were dismissed. Chapter 151B has a 300-day statute of limitations, and so any actions that occurred 300 days before he filed his complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) were time-barred. “Measuring 300 days back … [the employee’s] claims for discriminatory acts … are untimely,” wrote the judge.

The case will now proceed to trial.

Although LGBT Massachusetts employees have some of the strongest protections in the country States, many employers, unfortunately, fail to comply with the law. Under Chapter 151B, an aggrieved employee may file a complaint with the MCAD, which the employee may then transfer to court if he or she wishes.

Discrimination claimants are potentially entitled to compensation for emotional distress, lost wages, and punitive damages.

The case is here: Griffin v. Adams and Associates

Josef Culik

Josef Culik

Attorney Joe Culik has built his reputation on helping people and has dedicated his practice in Boston, Massachusetts to consumer protection, employee rights, and small business and franchise law.