Posted: Jul 31, 2012 1:54 PM
Updated: Jul 31, 2012 1:55 PM
PARIS (AP) France's Socialist-dominated parliament has approved legislation that makes sexual harassment a crime, addressing problems many say have existed for decades in the country.
The new law sets three levels of harassment, with the most serious in cases where the harasser has authority over the victim, the victim is younger than 15 years old, or multiple people carry out the harassment punishable by up to three years in prison.
The National Assembly passed the law Tuesday after the Senate voted earlier in the day
The legislation covers offenses in universities, the housing market and job interviews. Single acts of sexual blackmail will be considered sexual harassment, whereas previously only repeated acts were.
In the United States, sexual harassment is a civil offense usually punishable by fines.