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Strict norms on sexual harassment of employees have definitely advanced the environment of every workplace. Recognizing the pressing need of stringent regulations on harassment of female employees, the Governments have drafted laws that are mandatory for every workplace. Prevention, prohibition, and adjudication of cases of sexual harassment of women at workplace are the wings of the Sexual Harassment Act of almost every nation.

Security of women while at work has been always appreciated and looked for. Therefore, businesses should ensure framing bye-laws that prohibit sexual harassment at workplace and ensure disciplinary actions in case of violation of regulations. Enumerated below are some vital aspects for an effective implementation of such regulations.

What all may be counted as sexual harassment?

  1. Unwanted and unjustified physical contact
  2. Demand for sexual favors in return of any special treatment
  3. Verbal or Non-verbal conduct of sexual nature
  4. Gestures that reflect demand for sexual favors
  5. Plus, any unfair practice recognized by the competent authority

Important to note-

An employee of either sex can be guilty of asking for sexual favors. Also, the incidence of Sexual Harassment can occur between the members of same sex.

The Harasser or the Harassed person can be a co-worker, manager, vendor, contractor, and even a customer.

Protection against Sexual Harassment is the right of all, including employees, visitors, and contract labors.

Immediate steps to be followed-

Speak up instantly- As soon as the victim realizes that the behavior of the other person is unsolicited, he/she must retaliate. However, maintain calm during such circumstances. Avoid being judgmental or being violent.

Maintain proper notes- The victim must try to immediately write down what exactly the Harasser said. Also, make a note of the time, date, and place of the incident.

Report to the appropriate authority- Be prompt. Your silence can be your enemy. Approach the Manager and tell what exactly happened. Remember, your words can prevent such incidences from occurring in the future.

Say ‘No’ to fear- It may happen that the Supervisor may warn you about the negative outcomes of your reporting. You may be frightened of losing the job. In such cases, approach another Manager.

The vital Do’s and Don’ts-

Do-

Recognize the fact that Sexual Harassment is a serious offence and is punishable under the Law.

Report the harassing conduct of any co-worker, manager, or even the outsider as soon as possible.

Understand that you will not be punished, and it is your right to report such instances.

Don’t-

Refrain, or be scared of reporting the harassing conduct of the person at a higher level in the hierarchal structure.

Ignore the initial stages of harassment, or allow any person to touch your body without your consent.

Allow the reporting authority to convince you that your submission can affect your job or promotions.

Duty of the employer-

The employer should deter the commission of the acts of sexual harassment and lay down effective policies for the resolution and prosecution of any violations. The reporting supervisor must keep the sub-ordinates informed about the norms and should make sure that any unjustified act is escalated to the appropriate authority. Apart from being responsible for the implementation of the policy, supervisors are to be held accountable for any violations.

Duty of Co-workers-

Dignity of every individual must be respected. Male employees should refrain from indulging in immoral practices that may result in the exploitation of any female worker. Regular communication of the regulations framed under the policy must be ensured so as to avoid unawareness.

How can we help?

Our experts have assisted businesses in framing policies to eradicate sexual harassment. Awareness is the basis of improvement. We conduct sessions to educate the employees so as to ensure successful implementation of the policy. Women are notified about their rights in case of violations of any norm laid down in the policy. An effective complaint mechanism is framed so that the complainant is never denied justice. Swift resolutions and appropriate disciplinary action are always endeavored.

Serving businesses to implement a policy that justifies its presence has always been our motto. The experts continuously update the norms in accordance with the modifications in the law of land. Plus, confidentiality is never compromised.

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