- Deal with only lady staff to avoid any hesitation
- Secure the information gathered about women harassment
Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2012
Specific terms used in this Code have been defined here: (a) "Accused" means an employee or employer of an organization against whom complaint has been made under this Code. (b) "Competent Authority" the authority as may be designated by the management for the purposes of this Code; (c) "Complainant" means a woman or a man who has made a complaint to the Inquiry committee on being aggrieved by an act of harassment. (d) "Employer" in relation to an organization, means any person or body of persons whether incorporated or not, who or which employs works in an organization under a contract of employment. (e) Sexual harassment can include but is not limited to: verbal harassment or abuse, subtle pressure for sexual acts, sexual advances in the pretext or narrating sexual incidents, touching, patting or pinching, leering at a person's body, demanding sexual favors accompanied by subtle or overt threats concerning employment or advancement; and physical assault including rape.
Any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors or other verbal or written communication or physical conduct of a sexual nature or sexually demeaning attitudes, causing interference with work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, or the attempt to punish the complainant for refusal to comply to such a request or is made a condition for employment, is unacceptable behavior in the workplace, including any interaction or situation that is linked to official work or official activity outside the office. It constitutes a violation of this code.
Filing Complaint Procedure
An informal approach to resolve a complaint of harassment may be through mediation between the parties involved and by providing advice and counseling on a strictly confidential basis:
- A complaint or a staff member designated by the complainant for the purpose may report an incident of harassment informally to his/ her supervisor, or a member of the Inquiry Committee, in which case the supervisor or the Committee member may address the issue at his/ her discretion in the spirit of this Code. The request may be rally or in writing.
- If the case is taken up for investigation at an informal level, a senior manager from the office or the head office will conduct the investigation in a confidential manner. The alleged accused will be approached with the intention of resolving the matter in a confidential manner.
- If the incident or the case reported does constitute sexual harassment of a higher degree and the officer or a member reviewing the case feels that it needs to be pursued formally for a disciplinary action, with the consent of the complainant, the case can be taken as a formal complaint;
- A complaint does not necessarily have to take a complaint of harassment through the informal channel. She can launch a formal complaint at any time.
- The harassment usually occurs between colleagues when they are alone; therefore usually it is difficult to produce evidence. It is strongly recommended that staff should report an offensive behavior immediately to someone they trust, even if they do not wish to make a formal complaint at the time. Although not reporting immediately shall not affect the merits of the case.
Punishment for Non-Compliance
- On failure of an employer to comply with the provisions of this Code, any employee of an organization may file a petition before a District Court and on having been found guilty, the employer shall be liable to a fine which may extend to one hundred thousand rupees, but shall not be less than twenty five thousand rupees.
- In case the management fails to follow instructions from the Ombudsperson for information related to the inquiry process or fails to abide by the decision made by him/ her the management will be punished with the same punishment as for contempt high court.
- Withholding, for a specific period, promotion or increment
- Hold, for a specific period, at an efficiency bar in the time-scale
- Recovery of the compensation payable to the complaint from pa or any other source of the accused
- Reduction to a lower post or time-scale or to a lower stage in time-scale
- Compulsory retirement
- Removal from service
- Dismissal from service
- Fine. A part of the fine can be used as compensation for to complainant. In case of the owner, the fine shall be payable to the complainant