Initiative to Stop Sexual Harassment

National NOW Times, Summer 1998 | Go to article overview
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Initiative to Stop Sexual Harassment


The National Organization for Women (NOW) is implementing an initiative targeting sexual harassment as part of our ongoing Women-Friendly Workplace and Campus Campaign. We are targeting all levels and all branches of government, and we will also focus on the private sector. The following are the major elements of the new initiative:

GOVERNMENT

New Executive Order and Strengthening of the EEOC Regulations We call on the president to issue an executive order covering employees of the government and federal contractors and to work with the EEOC to make it clear in the agency's regulations 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 sexual harassment.

New Federal Law

We call on President Clinton, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (if the U.S. Supreme Court rules to the contrary in Burlington Industries v. Ellerth) to work for an amendment to Title VII to state clearly that it is illegal quid pro quo harassment if a boss makes sexual advances and threatens a woman's job or benefits, even if the threats are not carried out when she refuses. Emergency Funding for the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission

We call on the president to prioritize, and Congress to provide, an exponential increase in funding to the EEOC. Due to budget cuts, that agency is unable to thoroughly investigate and litigate sexual harassment complaints, to the detriment of women everywhere.

Allow Full Compensation for Damages and Extend the Statute of Limitations in Sexual Harassment Cases

We call on Congress to lift the cap on damages available for sex discrimination and sexual harassment. We also call on Congress to extend the statute of limitations under Title VII.

Enact Federal Law to Affirm the Rights of Employees to Petition the Courts We call on Congress to pass the Civil Rights Procedures Protection Act (H.

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