Legal barriers placed around sexual harassment

In an effort to curb sexual harassment on the job, new government guidelines clearly define what is considered an unlawful approach. Eleanor Holmes Norton, chief of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, said her office received 1,300 complaints of sexual harassment during the past fiscal year. Court rulings have supported the commission's position that sex-related intimidation in the workplace falls under sex discrimination provisions of the Civil Rights Act.

Unwelcome advances, verbal or physical, constitute unlawful sexual harassment if submission to such advances is necessary to get hired or to keep one's job, or if such advances interfere with an employee's job performance or create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

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