Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
Model Sexual Harassment Policy MCAD Policy 96-2
Adopted by the Commission on October 25,1996
Please Note: Massachusetts employers are strongly encouraged to supplement their sexual harassment policies with equivalent broader harassment policies. These broader policies should specify that employees are protected from harassment on the basis of their race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, handicap (disability), participation in discrimination complaint-related activities, sexual orientation, and genetics. Like the sexual harassment policy, the general harassment policy should name a harassment officer (the same or a different person than the sexual harassment officer), and provide examples of prohibited verbal and nonverbal behavior. Prohibited behavior includes slurs or other derogatory comments, objects, pictures, cartoons, or demeaning gestures connected to one's membership in a protected group. The overall structure of the general harassment policy should parallel the structure of the sexual harassment policy (or can be combined as one policy).
Under the provisions of G.L. c. 151B, §§ 2 and 3 the Commission is authorized to adopt policies and issue such rules necessary to effectuate the purposes of G.L. c. 151B. It is the goal of the Commission that such policies and rules assist members of the public in understanding the role, function, and process of the MCAD.
As a result of the enactment of St. 1996, c.278 “An Act Relative To Sexual Harassment and Training In The Workplace” the Commission is required to adopt a model sexual harassment policy. This Policy Guideline is promulgated to effectuate the purposes of that chapter and provides a model for employers to use. The model policy contains minimum standards which may be exceeded by the employer's policy.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY OF [name of employer]
It is the goal of [name of employer] to promote a workplace that is free of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment of employees occurring in the workplace or in other settings in which employees may find themselves in connection with their employment is unlawful and will not be tolerated by this organization. Further, any retaliation against an individual who has complained about sexual harassment or retaliation against individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated.