"Prevention is the best tool for the elimination of sexual
harassment. An employer should take all steps necessary to prevent
sexual harassment from occurring, such as affirmatively raising the
subject, expressing strong disapproval, developing appropriate
sanctions, informing employees of their right to raise and how to
raise the issue of harassment under Title VII, and developing methods
to sensitize all concerned."
-- Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Harassment on the basis of sex is a violation of Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other
verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual
(1) Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or
implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment;
(2) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is
used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual,
(3) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably
interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an
intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
-- Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex, U.S. EEOC
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
MODEL EFFORT TO ELIMINATE SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE
"Sexual harassment is environmental pollution of the worst kind."
"Creating a positive work environment is a critical element to
personal job satisfaction and productivity."
"This is not just to make women 'comfortable' in the workplace. It
is so that women and men can have a workplace where each may grow and
-- Lynn Martin, former Secretary of Labor
Then Secretary of Labor Lynn Martin set up a task force in March '91 to
review the Department's policy on sexual harassment and to identify
what needed to be done to insure that the U.S. Department of Labor is
free from sexual harassment. The findings of the task force identified
the need for awareness, education, training, policies for handling
complaints, penalty structures, and periodic review.
To that end, the Department of Labor identified nine steps in
eliminating sexual harassment in its workplace and took the
following five steps:
1. Examined the problem using the EEOC Guidelines and court
2. Reviewed Federal employee surveys and all known complaints at
the Dept to determine the extent of sexual harassment in the
3. Issued to all employees Secretary Martin's clear statement of
policy that sexual harassment will not be tolerated at the Dept
4. Selected a commercial training program for the Department.
5. Developed a plan and a training schedule for educating all
We are in the process of completing the following four steps:
6. Production of a penalty guide applicable to managers and
supervisors for misconduct of a sexual nature or for failing to
act effectively on receipt of complaints.
7. Consultation with Dept. of Labor union leaders about the plan
for educating all bargaining level employees about what
constitutes sexual harassment,the Department's policy, and
complaint procedures and penalties.
8. Instruction of all agency heads to handle sexual harassment
charges quickly, consistently, and effectively.
9. Regular periodic review of the Department's policy: of informal
and formal complaints, their investigation and resolution, and
of developing law in this area by legal counsel.
For further information on sexual harassment and the Department of
Labor's model effort contact the Women's Bureau, U.S. Department of
Labor, Washington, DC 20210, (202) 523-6611.
NOTE: While the above is believed to be basicly accurate - as far as
it goes - it was excerpted from 1992 government material. This area of
law has been expanded, refined and/or changed considerably since then,
so we urge you to further research this subject before taking actions
based on the above.
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