Sex ruling favours Paula Jones' case

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THE US Supreme Court marked the last day of its summer term yesterday by handing down two landmark rulings that could improve Paula Jones's chances of victory in her sexual harassment lawsuit against President Clinton.

In the first judgment, the court decided that someone who is the subject of unwanted sexual advances from a superior at work may be a victim of sexual harassment, even if she - and it is mostly she - suffers no professional disadvantage from refusing.

In the second, the court ruled that an employer may be held liable for sexual harassment committed by employees against more junior employees, facilitating claims for substantial damages.

Ms Jones brought a civil suit for sexual harassment against Mr Clinton, alleging that he made an unwanted sexual advances to her in a Little Rock hotel room eight years ago. Earlier this year, however, the judge dismissed the case, in part because she said there was no evidence that Ms Jones' career had been damaged.

Ms Jones had been waiting for the Supreme Court to rule whether a successful sexual harassment suit required the complainant to demonstrate professional harm before deciding whether to proceed with an appeal. She is now expected to start appeal proceedings later this month.