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SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT WORKPLACE

SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT WORKPLACE

SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT WORKPLACE

WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT?

Before going to discuss, first we need to know the meaning of sexual harassment, Sexual harassment is coercion of sexual nature and the unwelcome or inappropriate behavior whether physical, verbal or written which makes the women employees offended, humiliated or intimidated in the workplace. Sexual harassment at work includes many acts like-

(i)    Actual or attempted rape or any sexual assault.

(ii)    Sexual comments.

(iii)    Unwanted pleasures for dates or sexual favors, sexual tease, jokes, remarks or any deliberate touching.

(iv)    Sexually suggestive signals such as facial expressions, winking throwing kisses or licking lips.

(v)    Touching an employee’s clothing, hair, or body.

POSH ACT, 2013

The complaint against the sexual harassment at the workplace can be filed under the Sexual harassment (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal Act), 2013. Therefore, as the name of the act suggests it protects the dignity of a woman from the Sexual harassment at the workplace.

In the case of Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan, the apex court had laid down some guidelines to protect the sexual harassment at the workplace based on which the Centre has passed a separate act for the protection of women in the workplace which was enacted by the Centre.

The following objectives of the Act:

-To constitute an Internal committee for handling the sexual harassment complaint.

- To protect the dignity of the women employees from the sexual workplace at the workplace.

-Prevention and redressal of sexual harassment complaint.

Recently, the #MeToo movement has stirred the Country and has highlighted the sexual harassment at the workplace. Sexual harassment and assault have very serious and bad implications for women. Not only the dignity of a woman is tarnished, but they also had to face other negative consequences like physical or mental health issues, career interruptions, and low financial earnings.

LEGAL REMEDIES UNDER THE PREVENTION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT WORKPLACE(POSH) ACT, 2013

Internal committee-

Section 4(1) of the sexual harassment Act states that every workplace must constitute to redress the complaint regarding the sexual harassment at the workplace. All the workplace were consisting of 10 employees or more than are required to constitute an internal committee. If the workplace consisting of less than 10 employees, then no need to constitute an IC.

Filing of the complaint

Any victim woman can file the complaint of sexual harassment to the I.C within the period of 3 months’ from the date of the incident. Before initiating the inquiry, the Committee may try to reconcile between both the parties if the distressed woman is agreed. If there is no conciliation, then the IC will make an inquiry and give both parties a chance to be heard. The inquiry should be completed within 90 days. After the inquiry, IC makes an inquiry report and within 10 days a copy of the report sent to the organization or company and concerned parties. The employer is required to act on the recommendations of the IC within 60 days of receipt of the Inquiry report. According to the act, if any victim is not satisfied with the inquiry of IC, she may appeal to within 90 days.

Relief of the victim

According to section 12 of the Act, the internal committee can grant some interim relief to the victim. This relief granted may include the transfer of women to some other workplace, leave up to 3 months and such other reliefs.

Compensation

According to section 15 of the act, IC may determine the following while deciding the amount of compensation:

-suffering from mental trauma, emotional distress or pain.

-The career loss.

- Medical expenses for any physical or psychiatric treatment.

-The financial status of the victim.

-Feasibility of such payment in a lump sum or in installment.

Author:

eStartIndia Team



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