Last Friday at approximately 9:30 AM while everyone was in a meeting, a supervisor of mine approach my workstation and sat on my desk. He proceeded to take out his phone and was showing me images of his family and random people that had nothing to do with my job or my responsibilities. He then started showing the pictures that he downloaded, stating “look what I downloaded”, when I saw the image it was of a female dressed in a very provocative miniskirt and appear to be cooking. He told me that he sent it to a friend while he was on vacation, stating look what’s cooking. He then proceeded to tell me that he had another picture of a girl pulling down her underwear saying “why you shouldn’t eat snow or ice”. I felt very uncomfortable because of the fact I was completely left alone with this man and he was showing the pictures, of a sexual nature, of other women. I’m scared to say something, because he is one of the managers and I need my job. With this be considered sexual harassment, as he never actually came on to me? With this be considered a violation of my civil rights? Is this something you can base a lawsuit on?
Yes, this is an obvious case of sexual harassment. Your civil rights have certainly been violated in the situation. First of all, the man you are describing has control over you and your employment, this is one of the main requirements of sexual harassment. In Massachusetts there are two types of sexual harassment, “quid pro quo” and “hostile work environment”. In your situation, you have been subjected to a hostile work environment. In the quid pro quo sexual harassment cases, it’s usually a manager tells an employee that if you perform a certain sexual act with me then I will give you a certain benefit or raise. In this situation you’re asking me about, the manager has made a hostile work environment for you by Creating an unwelcome work environment, of a sexual nature, that has made you feel uncomfortable or that your workplace has become a hostile environment for you to work in. Obviously from your question, you now feel that this is a hostile work environment and are scared to simply inform the managers superiors, because you need your job. Basically you’re being placed in a situation, that you did not want or ask for, and you’re being forced to deal with that situation or forced to deal with the possibility of losing your job. This is basically the definition of sexual harassment. These are the types of cases that we specialize in and have been very successful in litigating.
Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law
901 Eastern Ave.
Fall River, MA 02723
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