General Laws of Massachusetts - Chapter 151B Unlawful Discrimination Because of Race, Color, Religious Creed, National Origin, Ancestry or Sex - Section 3A Employers’ policies against sexual harassment; preparation of model policy; education and training programs

Section 3A. (a) All employers, employment agencies and labor organizations shall promote a workplace free of sexual harassment.

(b) Every employer shall:

(1) adopt a policy against sexual harassment which shall include:

(i) a statement that sexual harassment in the workplace is unlawful;

(ii) a statement that it is unlawful to retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint of sexual harassment or for cooperating in an investigation of a complaint for sexual harassment;

(iii) a description and examples of sexual harassment;

(iv) a statement of the range of consequences for employees who are found to have committed sexual harassment;

(v) a description of the process for filing internal complaints about sexual harassment and the work addresses and telephone numbers of the person or persons to whom complaints should be made; and

(vi) the identity of the appropriate state and federal employment discrimination enforcement agencies, and directions as to how to contact such agencies.

(2) provide annually to all employees an individual written copy of the employer’s policy against sexual harassment; provided, however, that a new employee shall be provided such a copy at the time of his employment.

(c) The commission shall prepare and provide to employers subject to this section a model policy and poster consistent with federal and state statutes and regulations, which may be used by employers for the purposes of this section.

(d) An employer’s failure to provide the information required to be provided by this section shall not, in and of itself, result in the liability of said employer to any current or former employee or applicant in any action alleging sexual harassment. An employer’s compliance with the notice requirements of this section shall not, in and of itself, protect the employer from liability for sexual harassment of any current or former employee or applicant.

(e) Employers and labor organizations are encouraged to conduct an education and training program for new employees and members, within one year of commencement of employment or membership, which includes at a minimum the information set forth in this section. Employers are encouraged to conduct additional training for new supervisory and managerial employees and members within one year of commencement of employment or membership, which shall include at a minimum the information set forth in subsection (b), the specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees and the methods that such employees should take to ensure immediate and appropriate corrective action in addressing sexual harassment complaints. Employers, labor organizations and appropriate state agencies are encouraged to cooperate in making such training available.

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Last modified: September 11, 2015