December 11, 2023
Marital Rapes Status in India

Sexual harassment is an action. It is described as an unwanted sexual behavior. Across established, developing, and undeveloped nations alike, sexual harassment of women at workplace is a pervasive issue, and violence against women is a typical occurrence. It is a widespread issue that negatively affects both men and women. It is more common among women in particular.

How much ever one tries to protect, prohibit, prevent and give remedies such violations will always take place. It is an offense targeting women, who are regarded as the group in society that is most at risk. That is why they have to suffer all these immunes starting from female feticide, human trafficking, stalking, sexual abuse and sexual harassment, to the most heinous crime Rape. Harassing someone (a worker or an employee) due to their sexual orientation is illegal.

Stating the most common type of harassment in the workplace

There are numerous distinct kinds of workplace harassment, however it is essential to keep in mind that any action that renders the workplace unpleasant or scary is unacceptable. The following are some common forms of harassment in the workplace:

  • Sexual harassment can be described as any unwelcome sexual contact, remarks, demands for favors relating to sexuality, or other verbal or physical conduct that are indicative of a sexual nature.
  • Verbal harassment is defined as any obscene comments, jokes, or slurs made regarding someone’s race, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, or any protected traits.
  • It is illegal to treat someone unjustly or adversely in the workplace due to their ethnicity, age, gender, disability, faith, or other protected characteristics.
  • Disability harassment can be characterized as harassing someone because of their impairment or making negative comments about it.

Sexual harassment at the workplace

It is imperative that all individuals and the organization are cognizant of the conduct that qualifies as sexual harassment. Employers are accountable for making sure all staff members understand what sexual harassment is, how to report it, and how to file a complaint. Sexual harassment causes psychological suffering for the harassed woman.

The definition of sexual harassment in the workplace has been established by the Supreme Court of India through the Vishaka Guidelines. In the case of Vishaka and Ors. v State of Rajasthan and ors. In this particular case, the defendants were judged not guilty. In order to fight for Bhanwari Devi’s justice, the Vishaka and other women’s rehabilitation organizations from Rajasthan and Delhi filed a Writ Petition with the Supreme Court, requesting that the fundamental rights of working women be upheld in accordance with Articles 14, 19, and 21 of the Indian Constitution. The guidelines are:

Unwelcome sexually determined behavior, whether expressed explicitly or indirectly, encompasses the following behaviors as sexual harassment:

  • Physical contact and approaches;
  • Comments that are sexually suggestive;
  • Requests or demands for sexual favors;
  • The display of pornography; or
  • Any other unwanted sexually suggestive behavior, whether verbal, nonverbal, or physical.

sexual harassment of women at workplace act 2013

  • The Prevention of sexual harassment of women at workplace act is a significant piece of law in India that attempts to stop and deal with sexual harassment that women experience at work.
  • The Act seeks to protect women from sexual harassment and to establish a secure and supportive work environment for them.
  • Sexual harassment is defined by the POSH Act as any unwanted physical, verbal, or non-verbal activity of a sexual character, as well as unwanted acts including making sexually suggestive remarks, displaying pornography, demanding or requesting sexual favors, and physical contact or sexual advances.
  • Employers are legally required by the Act to forbid and prevent sexual harassment in their places of employment.
  • Every employer with ten or more employees must establish an ICC in order to accept and handle reports of sexual harassment. The Complaints Committees can gather evidence with the same authority as civil courts.
  • Employers are required to implement awareness campaigns, maintain a secure workplace, and post details regarding the POSH Act.
  • This Act establishes a process for registering complaints, carrying out investigations, and giving the parties concerned a fair chance.
  • Failure to comply with the terms of the Act may result in fines and the cancellation of business licenses, among other penalties.

what happens if you are sexually harassed at work: Filing of Complaints

If you are sexually harassed at the workplace, you can file a complaint in accordance with Section 9 of the POSH Act:

  • Within three months of the incident, a written complaint must be submitted. Reports for incidents in a series must be written within three months after the most recent occurrence.
  • Under appropriate conditions, the deadline may be extended by an additional three months.
  • The committee may, at the request of the complainants, arrange for a reconciliation through mediation before opening an investigation. In the event of the woman’s physical or mental incapacity, death, or other circumstances, the legal heir may file a complaint on her behalf.
  • During the inquiry period, the complainant may request a transfer, a three-month leave of absence, or other remedy.
  • The investigation must be finished within ninety days of the complaint date. Non-compliance carries consequences.

As members of a civilized society, it is shameful that women today must endure such heartbreaking encounters. While social evils cannot be totally eradicated, they can still be avoided; reading the aforementioned act makes it abundantly clear that the government adopted all the necessary measures to ensure that people are educated, but awareness of these issues needs to grow, and this can only be accomplished by raising awareness.

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