NOW Takes Action against Sexual Harassment

By Ireland, Patricia; Gandy, Kim | National NOW Times, Summer 1998 | Go to article overview

NOW Takes Action against Sexual Harassment


Ireland, Patricia, Gandy, Kim, National NOW Times


by Patricia Ireland, President, and Kim Gandy, Executive Vice President

On April 22, NOW unveiled a national initiative targeting sexual harassment as part of our Women-Friendly Workplace and Campus Campaign. That same day NOW activists demonstrated outside the U.S. Supreme Court, where the justices heard arguments in the Burlington Industries v. Ellerth sexual harassment case.

In that case, Kimberly Ellerth charges that she endured a steady stream of sexual harassment from her supervisor's boss, including pats on the buttocks, offensive sexual remarks and the threat that he could make her work life "very hard or very easy." The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Ellerth's right to sue, but Burlington Industries is asking the Supreme Court to reverse that decision and rule that some tangible job detriment is required. They assert that Ellerth suffered no such harm. (See "Supreme Court Answers Sexual Harassment Questions,"p.6.)

NOW Drafts Initiative

No boss should get away with making unwelcome sexual advances and threatening a woman's job status, even if he doesn't actually carry out his threats when she refuses. Sexual misconduct hurts women in the workplace; the boss who paws, propositions and warns of retaliation takes away a woman's dignity . . . even if he doesn't take away her job. He denies her respect . . . even if he doesn't deny her a promotion or a raise.

NOW's leaders and activists across the country feel strongly that we must take action in light of recent high-profile harassment cases. Women have reported to us that wide-spread news coverage of Jones v. Clinton has led some men to think they're entitled to "one free feel" and that demeaning sexual remarks are no problem under the sexual harassment law.

That is why NOW's national board developed the Initiative to Stop Sexual Harassment, a ten-point action plan targeting government and business leaders. They used to say that every dog gets one free bite, but that does not apply to men in the workplace-and we intend to make sure employers get that message loud and clear: Zero tolerance is what women have a right to expect. We will make whatever changes are necessary in the laws and regulations to make sure that those laws have teeth.

As part of our Initiative to Stop Sexual Harassment, we call on President Clinton, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, through executive orders, EEOC regulations and new laws, to make clear that sexual misconduct does not have to rise to the level of criminal rape or assault to violate Title VII's prohibition against hostile environment harassment.

And, if necessary, after the Supreme Court rules in Burlington Industries v. Ellerth, we will call on the administration to prioritize, and the Congress to pass, legislation making it illegal quid pro quo harassment even if a boss doesn't carry out threatened job consequences when a woman refuses his advances.

Jones v. Clinton

Like the trial judge in Ellerth, Federal District Court Judge Susan Webber Wright held in Jones v. Clinton that tangible job detriment is an essential element of a quid pro quo harassment claim. The evidence offered by Paula Jones' lawyers failed to convince the judge that Jones had suffered job detriment; in essence Judge Wright told Jones' lawyers they could not make a federal case out of her not receiving flowers on Secretary's Day.

Even if the Supreme Court rules in favor of Kimberly Ellerth, it may not make a difference in Paula Jones' case. Judge Wright also found that Clinton's alleged statements did not constitute a threat that clearly conditioned job benefits or detriments on compliance with sexual demands. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

NOW Takes Action against Sexual Harassment
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.