The Supreme Court, through its latest legislation “The Sexual Harassment Of Women At Workplace (prevention, prohibition, and redressal) Act,2013”, has laid down guidelines relating to the protection of women against sexual harassment and for the prevention and redressal of complaints relating to sexual harassment.
“Sexual Harassment” includes any one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behaviour towards a women employee whether directly or by implication
- physical contact and advances,
- a demand or request for sexual favours,
- making sexually coloured remarks,
- showing pornography,
- any other unwelcome physical,
- verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature,
- implied or explicit promise of preferential or detrimental treatment in her employment,
- implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status,
- interference with her work or creating an intimidating or offensive or hostile work environment for her,
- humiliating treatment likely to affect her health and safety.
The Act mandates the constitution of an internal complaints committee for redressal of sexual harassment complaints.
If an employer fails to abide by the provisions of the Act, the employer may be punished with a fine which may extend to Rs.50,000.