The Justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court solicited amicus briefs on the issue of whether a claim of “associational handicap discrimination” is actionable under G.L. c. 151B. Along with the ACLU of Massachusetts, Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), and the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, we argue that the text and legislative history of G.L. c. 151B compel the conclusion that “associational discrimination” is actionable. “Associational discrimination” claims, by definition, are claims made by individuals who have been subjected to the same type of unfounded stereotypes, prejudices, and fears as those applied to members of a protected class, even though they are not themselves members of that protected class. A contrary ruling would prevent the statute from fully achieving its core purpose of eradicating workplace discrimination.
Read our brief: