What can I do about workplace harassment if I was recently let go from my job?

However during my tenure there, my boss would physically harass me by sneaking up on me and poking my sides. He did it numerous times. Sometimes multiple times a day. I feared for my job so I never reported it. This was the same boss that let me go. Do I have legal precedence?

Asked on August 5, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Many people think that harasment, by itself, is a cause of action.  There has to be some other bad motive or bad cause to make harassment claim.  For example, if the boss was only harassing you and you were a member of a protected class, then that would be an example of a bad motive-- i.e. harassing the protected member. 

If the motive was not bad, but the result was, then you may have some type of tort claim.  If you suffered an identifiable physical or emotional injury, then you could sue for the damages resulting from the unwanted contact. 

If you don't have a bad motive or a bad result, then you simply have another employer in the work force exhibiting bad behavior.  Even though not appropriate, there are not many legal remedies for generic bad behavior. 

If you are not sure what case your situation would fall in, then consider visiting with an employment law attorney.  By hearing a few more facts and asking a few more questions, they may be able to identify more options for you to consider.

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Many people think that harasment, by itself, is a cause of action.  There has to be some other bad motive or bad cause to make harassment claim.  For example, if the boss was only harassing you and you were a member of a protected class, then that would be an example of a bad motive-- i.e. harassing the protected member. 

If the motive was not bad, but the result was, then you may have some type of tort claim.  If you suffered an identifiable physical or emotional injury, then you could sue for the damages resulting from the unwanted contact. 

If you don't have a bad motive or a bad result, then you simply have another employer in the work force exhibiting bad behavior.  Even though not appropriate, there are not many legal remedies for generic bad behavior. 

If you are not sure what case your situation would fall in, then consider visiting with an employment law attorney.  By hearing a few more facts and asking a few more questions, they may be able to identify more options for you to consider.


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