What amounts to Sexual Harassment?
“Sexual Harassment” includes anybody or more of the subsequent unwelcome acts or behavior (whether directly or by implication) namely:— (i) physical contact and advances; or (ii) a demand or request for sexual favors; or (iii) making sexually colored remarks; or (iv) showing pornography; or (v) the other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature;
Section 3 of the act
(i) implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in her employment; or (ii) implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in her employment; or (iii) implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status; or (iv) interference together with her work or creating an intimidating or offensive or hostile work environment for her; or (v) humiliating treatment likely to affect her health or safety.
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court in Vishaka v State of Rajasthan made a major contribution in evolving a code against harassment. The court ruled that it shall now be the duty of the employer or other responsible persons in work places or other institutions, whether within the public or the private sector, to require all steps required to:
(a) prevent the commission of acts of sexual harassment;
(b) deter the commission of the acts of sexual harassment; and
(c) provide the procedure for:
(i) the resolution of acts,
(ii) the settlement, or
(iii) the prosecution of acts of harassment.
The employers are required to take subsequent steps:
(a) Expressly prohibited harassment as defined above at the work place should be notified, published, and circulated in appropriate ways.
(b) The rules/regulations of government and public sector bodies regarding conduct and discipline should include rules/ regulations prohibiting harassment and provide for appropriate penalties in such rules against the offender.
(c) As regards private employers steps should be taken to incorporate these prohibitions within the Standing Orders under the commercial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946.
(d) Appropriate work conditions should be provided in respect of labor, leisure, health and hygiene, to further make sure that there’s no hostile environment towards women at work places and no woman employee should have reasonable grounds to believe that she is disadvantaged in reference to her employment
These guidelines and norms are to be ‘strictly observed the least bit work places for the preservation and enforcement of the right to gender equality of the working women.’ These directions ‘would be binding and enforceable in law until suitable legislation is enacted to occupy the sphere.’ However, these guidelines won’t prejudice any rights available under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
If an employer fails to constitute an IC or doesn’t go with the wants prescribed under the posh Act, a monetary penalty of up to INR 50,000 (approx. US$ 700) could also be imposed. A repetition of the identical offence could end in the punishment being doubled and/or de-registration of the entity or revocation of any statutory business licenses.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THE SAME, DO LET ME KNOW.
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