SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT WORKPLACE
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Readdressal) Act, 2013:
The law applies to:
- Domestic workers
- Daily wagers:- temporary or permanent
- Employees: full-time or part-time, as well as volunteers (unpaid interns too qualify under this Act)
- Women, who may or may not be employed and belong to any age group
- traditional office set-up where there is a clear employer-employee relationship,
- organizations, departments, offices, branch units etc. in the public and private sector,
- organized and unorganized, hospitals, nursing homes, educational institutions, sports institutes, stadiums, sports complexes
- any place visited by the employee arising out of or during the course of employment including transportation provided by the office
- non-traditional workplaces, which involve telecommuting
Acts & Behaviour count as Sexual Harassment at the Workplace:
- Physical contact or advances
- A demand or request for sexual favours
- Making sexually coloured remarks
- Showing pornography
- Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature
Acts & Behaviour done under following circumstances would also count as Sexual Harassment at the Workplace:
- Implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in employment
- Implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in employment
- Implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status
- Interferes with work or creates an intimidating/hostile/offensive work environment
- Humiliating treatment likely to affect her health and safety
- Penalties range from 1 to 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine.
- Additionally, with sexual harassment being a crime, employers are obligated to report offences under any situation.
- Penalties have been prescribed for employers. Non-compliance with the provisions of the Act shall be punishable with a fine of up to INR 50,000.
- Repeated violations may lead to higher penalties and cancellation of license or registration to conduct business.
- The inquiry process under the Act should be confidential and the Act lays down a penalty of Rs. 5000 on the person who has breached confidentiality.
- The Government can order an officer to inspect the workplace and records related to sexual harassment in any organization.