SECTION 1. Chapter 149 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:
(a) Any provision in a contract for employment that requires waiver of any substantive or procedural constitutional or statutory right or remedy related to a claim pursuant to G.L. c. 151B sec 1 (18) shall henceforth be deemed void and unenforceable.
(b) Any provision in any contract that has the purpose or effect of concealing the details relating to a claim related to G.L. ch. 151B sec. 4(16A) shall be void and unenforceable.
(c) No person or employer shall take any retaliatory action including, but not limited to failure to hire, discharge, suspension, demotion, or adverse action related to any individual who does not enter into any agreement as described in (a) or (b).
(d) Any settlement agreement that prevents the disclosure of factual information related to claims under G.L. c. 151B sec 4(16A) is prohibited.
(e) Notwithstanding (d), a provision that shields the identity of the complainant and all facts that could lead to the discovery of that person’s identity may be included in any settlement at the request of the complainant.
(f) Any claim made pursuant to this section shall not be exclusive nor shall it preempt or invalidate procedures and remedies available under any other applicable law.
(g) Any person claiming to be aggrieved by a practice concerning sexual harassment as defined in G.L. c. 151 sec 1 (18) shall be entitled to a trial by jury on any issue of fact in an action for damages. Irrespective of the amount in controversy, if the court finds for the petitioner it shall, in addition to any damages, award the petitioner reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.
(h) The use of public funds shall never be used for the purpose of silencing a complainant or concealing the details related to claims of sexual harassment or assault whether or not raised in court or administrative proceedings.
(i) This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to all contracts entered into, renewed, modified or amended on or after such date.
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