Sexual Harassment is one of the most unreported offences of all times.
As per a survey around 38 percent respondents confessed to being sexually harassed at the workplace. The same report reveals that around 69 percent respondents decided against reporting it.
Astonishingly, 65 percent of the participants revealed that most of the companies did not follow the procedure prescribed under Sexual Harassment (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (“POSH”).
ABSOLUTE ESSENTIALS YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT THE WORKPLACE:
1. You are covered under the act if you are an employee (part-time, full-time or an intern)
2. Recognizing sexual harassment: You need to understand that anything that appears to be sexual and unwelcome which may or may not be within your tolerance limits, amounts to sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment at the workplace can include any of the following instances:
• Physical contact or advances
• A demand or request for sexual favours
• Sexually coloured remarks
• Showing pornography
• Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.
3.When and where to complain?
In case of an incident of sexual harassment, you are required to complain, within 3 months, in writing, to the Internal Committee or – in its absence – to the Local Committee in your area.
4.You can request for leave or transfer to a different branch.
When you file a complaint, your Internal Committee is required to make a quick inquiry into the matter as per the procedure mentioned in your company’s sexual harassment policy. However during the pendency of the complaint, you can make a written request to your internal committee to direct your employer to:
(a) seek yours or the respondent’s transfer to any other branch; or
(b) grant you leave up to a period of three months; or
(c) grant such other relief to you as may be prescribed under the Act.
The leave granted to you under the POSH shall be in addition to the leave you would be otherwise entitled to.