In the male dominated and patriarchy world, a female is often as a commodity and suppressed in many ways. Sexual harassment is one of those many suppressions that a female suffers from. Sexual harassment at workplace includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
In the real world, sexual harassment is not as easy as its definition. You would only know it when you encounter it.
Individuals who experience sexual harassment suffer psychologically, physically and emotionally. Due to which the workplace morale is severely and negatively affected and collegiality is also injured when an incident occurs.
Sexual harassment at workplace is a very serious issue that needs to be dealt with an iron strong fist, and thankfully the Indian law allows an individual to take things under the light if something grotesque happens with them at the workplace.
Employers that aimed towards preventing cases of sexual harassment at the workplace should not forget the Vishaka guidelines laid by the Supreme Court.
A demand and request for the sexual favour
Physical, verbal/non-verbal remarks – whistling, obscene jokes, comments and physical appearance, threats innuendos, and gender-based derogatory remarks etc
Sexual harassment at workplace isn’t a new issue in the industry. It is something which usually goes unnoticed or left behind the curtains due to several social and personal reasons.
That is why it is always crucial to know your rights. Because till the time employee and workers do not become aware of their fundamental employee rights, it is almost impossible for the law and order or the system as a whole to protect victims from the offensive employer activities.
According to the sexual harassment 2013 Act, every employer is required to constitute an internal complaints committee at each office or branch with 10 or more employees.
The government, in turn, requires to set up a “Local Complaints Committees” at the district level for the investigation. That act also constitutes the process to be followed for making a complaint and inquiring into the complaint in a within a framework of time.
The sexual harassment act empowers the ICC and LCC to ask the employer at the request of the aggrieved employee interim measures like:
Granting leave to the aggrieved woman for 3 months in addition to her regular contractual leave entitlement
Transfer of the aggrieved woman or the respondent to any other workplace