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General Laws

Section 13. No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged or otherwise discipline or in any manner discriminate against any employee for the reason that such person has exercised any right, made any claim or filed any complaint or suit or has instituted, or caused to be instituted, any proceeding under this chapter, or has testified, or is about to testify in any proceeding in his own behalf or on behalf of others; nor shall any pay, seniority or other benefits be lost by or denied to any such employee who has exercised any right provided by this chapter.

An employee who believes that he has been discharged, disciplined or in any other manner discriminated against by his employer for reason or reasons of exercising rights under this chapter may, within one hundred and eighty days of such violation or within one hundred and eighty days after obtaining knowledge that a violation did occur, file a verified complaint with the commissioner of DOL. A copy of the verified complaint shall also be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, by the employee or his attorney to the employer at the time of filing with the commissioner of DOL. The employer, if he so chooses, may file with the commissioner of DOL an answer to the verified complaint, but must do so within twenty days of the receipt of the verified complaint from the employee or his attorney.

Upon receipt of a verified complaint and an answer, if one is so filed within the time period set forth in this section, the commissioner of DOL shall undertake an investigation of the alleged violation. If after a preliminary investigation, the commissioner determines that there is insufficient cause to believe a violation occurred, he shall so notify the complainant and employer within ten days of such determination. The employee or his attorney may, within ten days of such notice, request in writing with a copy to the employer an adjudicatory hearing pursuant to the provisions of chapter thirty A of the General Laws.

If after a preliminary investigation, the commissioner of DOL determines that there is cause to believe a violation occurred, he or she shall so notify the complainant and employer within ten days, and shall conduct an adjudicatory hearing pursuant to chapter thirty A of the General Laws. If after such a hearing, the commissioner determines that the employer did violate the provisions of this chapter, he may take such remedial action as is appropriate, including the issuance of a cease or desist order or the ordering of any other affirmative steps to correct the violation and prevent its recurrence.

Any time an employee exercises the rights specified in subsection (d) of section eleven of this chapter, and files a complaint pursuant to this section and section three of this chapter, the commissioner of DOL shall hold an adjudicatory hearing to resolve said complaint within ten days.

Any person aggrieved by the determination of the commissioner may appeal such determination in the Superior court for the county in which the employer’s workplace is located. Such determination shall be reviewed in accordance with the standards for review provided in section fourteen of chapter thirty A.

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