How to Report Sexual Harassment at Workplace in Indore?
Reporting sexual harassment at the workplace in Indore, India, is a crucial step in ensuring a safe and respectful work environment. The process for reporting sexual harassment typically follows legal guidelines established by the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013.
The Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment Act, 2013 (POSH Act) is an Act of the Parliament of India that defines and prohibits sexual harassment of women at workplace. The Act applies to all workplaces, including both public and private sectors.
The POSH Act defines sexual harassment as any unwelcome act or behavior of a sexual nature, whether verbal or physical, that is:
- Offensive to the woman’s dignity
- Creates a hostile or intimidating or humiliating work environment for her
- Infringes upon her right to work with dignity
The POSH Act also defines the following as sexual harassment:
- Making sexually suggestive remarks
- Demanding or requesting sexual favors
- Physical contact of a sexual nature
- Showing pornography
- Advancing sexual propositions
- Making sexually colored remarks
- Transmitting sexually explicit material
- Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature
The POSH Act also provides for the establishment of Internal Complaints Committees (ICCs) in all workplaces to investigate complaints of sexual harassment. The ICCs are required to have at least five members, including at least two women.
If a woman is sexually harassed at her workplace, she can file a complaint with the ICC. The ICC is required to investigate the complaint and take appropriate action, such as issuing a warning to the harasser, transferring the harasser to another department, or dismissing the harasser from employment.
The POSH Act also provides for the establishment of a National Commission for Women (NCW) and State Women’s Commissions (SWCs) to help women who have been sexually harassed at their workplace. The NCW and SWCs can provide legal assistance, counseling, and other support to women who have been sexually harassed.
The POSH Act is an important piece of legislation that helps to protect women from sexual harassment at their workplace. The Act provides women with a mechanism to report sexual harassment and seek redress. The Act also creates awareness about sexual harassment and its harmful effects.
If you have been sexually harassed at your workplace, you can contact the ICC in your workplace or the NCW or SWC in your state for help. You can also file a complaint with the police.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to report sexual harassment at the workplace in Indore:
- Understand the Law:
Familiarize yourself with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013, and its provisions. This law defines sexual harassment, outlines the responsibilities of employers, and establishes the procedure for filing a complaint.
- Identify the Appropriate Authority:
In every workplace, there should be an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) or Local Complaints Committee (LCC), depending on the size and nature of the organization, to handle sexual harassment complaints. The ICC is for organizations with 10 or more employees, while the LCC is for organizations with fewer than 10 employees or those in unorganized sectors.
- Prepare Your Complaint:
Write down the details of the harassment, including dates, times, locations, and the names of the individuals involved. Be as specific as possible while recounting the incidents. Gather any supporting evidence, such as emails, text messages, or witness testimonies.
- Inform Your Employer:
If you feel safe doing so, report the sexual harassment incident to your immediate supervisor or manager. They should take immediate action and guide you on the formal complaint process. If your supervisor is involved in the harassment or uncooperative, bypass them and directly approach the ICC/LCC.
- Lodge a Formal Complaint:
To initiate a formal complaint, write a detailed complaint letter addressing it to the ICC or LCC of your organization. Ensure you include your contact details and a request for confidentiality, if needed. Submit copies of any evidence you have gathered.
- Investigation Process:
The ICC/LCC will initiate an inquiry within 15 days of receiving the complaint. The inquiry should be impartial, and the accused will have the opportunity to defend themselves. The committee may call witnesses and gather evidence.
- Report and Action:
After the investigation, the committee will submit a report to the employer or appropriate authority. If the accused is found guilty, the employer should take disciplinary action, which may include warnings, suspension, or termination. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you can appeal.
- Seek Legal Assistance:
If the internal complaint process does not yield satisfactory results, you can explore legal avenues. Consult with a lawyer specializing in workplace harassment or contact the local Women’s Cell or police to file a formal complaint.
- Support and Counseling:
During the entire process, seek emotional support from friends, family, or professional counselors. Dealing with sexual harassment can be mentally and emotionally challenging.
- Retaliation Protections:
It’s essential to know that you are protected against retaliation under the law. Employers cannot take adverse actions against you for reporting sexual harassment.
Remember that reporting sexual harassment is a critical step in creating a safer workplace for everyone. Do not hesitate to take action, and ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.
Adcocate J.S. Rohilla (Civil & Criminal Lawyer in Indore)
Contact: 88271 22304