POSH – Far Beyond Compliances – Part 2

This is in continuation to previous part of this Article in which we discussed the organisations on which The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal Act), 2013 is applicable.

Now, we shall discuss some examples of scenarios that constitute sexual harassment at workplace:

  1. Making sexually suggestive remarks;
  2. Offensive comments;
  3. Unwelcome sexual advances;
  4. Serious or repeated offensive remarks, such as teasing related to a person’s body or appearance;
  5. Inappropriate questions, suggestions;
  6. Threats, intimidation or retaliation against an employee who speaks up about such unwelcome behaviour;
  7. Blackmailing around sexual behaviours;
  8. Stalking an individual etc.

The list is inclusive, hence if a woman feels offended adversely, she should complain to the right authority. Now, coming to the definition of employer, it covers the following:

1. The head of the department, organisation, undertaking, establishment, enterprise, institution, office, branch or unit of the Appropriate Government or local authority or such officer specified in this behalf.

2. Any person (whether contractual or not) responsible for the management, supervision and control of a designated workplace not covered under clause (i).

3. A person or a household who employs or benefits from the employment of domestic worker or women employees.

Hence, proceedings can be held against all or any of the above under the Act.

State Governments have to notify a District Magistrate/Additional District Magistrate/Collector/Deputy Collector as a District Officer at local level.

Every employer comes under a District Officer. DO is different for every block, taluka, tehsil, ward and municipality. Under the law, the District Officer as well as Employer are obliged to do the following:

1. Create and communicate a detailed policy;

2. Ensure awareness and orientation on the issue;

3. Constitute Complaints Committee/s in every workplace and district so that every working woman is provided with a mechanism for redress of her complaint(s);

4. Ensure Complaints Committees are trained in both skill and capacity;

5. Prepare an annual report and report to the respective state government;

6. District Officer will also appoint a nodal officer to receive complaints at the local level.

So here comes a brief idea on various other aspects of the Act. In the next part of this Article, we will discuss about difference between Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) and Local Complaints Committee (LCC), categories of complainants, complaint process and other things.

Bhavya Taneja
Bhavya Taneja
Bhavya Taneja is a Practicing Company Secretary, speaker on various academic and non-academic topics and a writer. She has an experience of 8 years as a professional and 5 years as a faculty of Economics. She has authored a book of quotes called 'Crisp Talkings' and is actively involved in social welfare activities as well.

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