September 1996 Vol. I, No.2

On August 8, 1996, Governor Weld approved a law requiring Massachusetts employers to adopt a policy against sexual harassment in the workplace and to distribute a copy of the policy at the time of hire and annually to all employees. The new legislation, named "An Act Relative to Sexual Harassment, Education and Training in the Workplace," is effective on November 6, 1996 for employers with fifteen or more employees, and on January 1, 1997 for employers with at least six employees.

The law requires that the following provisions be incorporated into the employer's sexual harassment policy: (i) a statement that sexual harassment in the workplace is unlawful; (ii) a statement that retaliation against an employee for filing or cooperating in an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint is unlawful; (iii) a description and examples of sexual harassment, as well as the range of disciplinary action that will be imposed for violations of the policy; (iv) an explanation of how to file an internal sexual harassment complaint and the work address and telephone number of those within the company to whom complaints should be made; and (v) instructions on how to contact the appropriate state and federal employment discrimination enforcement agencies

The law also encourages employers to conduct educational and training programs for their employees. In the event you desire legal advice or consultation or wish us to draft a new or revised sexual harassment policy, please feel free to contact Attorney Marcia S. Wagner.

This Newsletter is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered as or intended to be legal advice. Under the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this material may be considered as constituting advertising.