Lowery v. Klemm

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Here, the plaintiff volunteered at a swap shop operated by the Town of Falmouth at its waste management facility. The defendant was the land supervisor and gatekeeper of the facility. The defendant often visited the shop and made sexual advances toward the plaintiff for three years, despite her requests that he leave her alone. The town subsequently terminated the plaintiff’s volunteer services and barred her from the facility. Id. at 572. The plaintiff sued the defendant for sexual harassment in violation of M.G.L.A. 214 § 1C. The court found that M.G.L.A. 214 § 1C states that “[a] person shall have the right to be free from sexual harassment, as defined in chapter 151B and 151C.” Id. at 577. The court then noted that the definition of sexual harassment in G. L. C. 151B and 151c does not explicitly protect volunteers from sexual harassment and instead limit conduct to academic and employment contexts. The court thus found that there is only statutory protection against sexual harassment in employment and academic contexts and there was no such protection for volunteers. Id. However, persons outside of this context, including volunteers, may pursue common law claims of sexual harassment. Id. at 580-81.




Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

Avon Center work product