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"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 harassment when:

(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, or;

(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










"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 prosper." -- 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 decisions.

2. Reviewed Federal employee surveys and all known complaints at the Dept to determine the extent of sexual harassment in the workplace.

3. Issued to all employees Secretary Martin's clear statement of policy that sexual harassment will not be tolerated at the Dept of Labor.

4. Selected a commercial training program for the Department.

5. Developed a plan and a training schedule for educating all employees.

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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