answer all your quries.
With no exceptions, the act makes it absolutely mandatory for every organization with more than 10 employees to comply with the policy.
In such a situation, a committee known as the ‘Local Committee’ constituted by District Officer is to receive complaints regarding sexual harassment.
Non-compliance to the POSH Act can lead to a fine of Rs 50,000 in the first instance. In the case of repeating the same offence by an employer twice the amount of fine needs to be paid. Further, it can also lead to cancellation of license or non-renewal or cancellation of registration of the company. The aggrieved employee of the company can approach the court to complain regarding the same.
In case there is no female employee available, the Presiding Officer shall be nominated from other offices or administrative units of the workplace. Further, if those other offices or administrative units of the workplace do not have a senior level woman employee, the Presiding Officer shall be nominated from any other workplace of the same employer or other department or organisation. A senior female external member can also guide in such cases.
Firstly you should ask the said person to stop sending such obscene messages. If the accused doesn’t listen, report to the IC of the same company and have a record of the messages sent by the employees for evidence purpose. However, it should be noted that you should try reporting the case within three months or if the time period exceeds three months stating the exact reason that restricted you to do so.
Yes. When the interaction between them has not arisen out due to their previous relationship or personal acquaintances. If two employees are out at a pub, restaurant, hotels etc. on their own accord and one of them faces sexual harassment at the hands of the other, that place becomes a workplace within the meaning of the Act as their relationship has arisen out of their employment with their organization. Even if the harassment takes place at anywhere among the person somehow connected with the workplace after or before working hours, it would be treated as sexual harassment at workplace. The two major to elements to sexual harassment are UNWELCOME ACT and SEXUAL NATURE.
It is to be noted that, if they are in relationship or their actions are on mutual personal acceptable levels as adults then it will not be considered as sexual harassment at workplace.
In case the incident took place before more than 90 days, you can still file your complaint with the IC stating the reasons and circumstances which prevented her from filing the complaint before. The complaint will definitely be looked at. A complaint of sexual harassment can be filed within a time limit of 3 months which may be extended to another 3 months.
You can still file the complaint with the other members of IC. The IC has all rights to investigate any person in the organisation, irrespective of the hierarchy. It is important to note the role of the 3rd party external member here. She/he will be able to support the committee in an un-biased manner.
Absolutely not. You will not be asked to change the role that you are doing or treated any different.
No, there is a non-retaliation clause in policy where the complainant is protected. If the complainant feels she has been discriminated against or marginalised, she can always bring this to IC’s notice.
Within 90 days of the final recommendation shared by the IC, the complainant or respondent is allowed to appeal. The case can be reopened in case new evidence has surfaced at that given point of time. The act gives the full opportunity to both the parties to file an appeal in a higher court.
It is up to the discretion of the victim, whether to take the matter on such level or not.
Yes, you can. If you feel the act/behaviour is serious in nature and needs to be handled and reported under IPC.
It is advisable to report such events to IC, which is the body mainly responsible for handling such cases. However, you can always include your HR manager along with IC.
It is absolutely important to have an external member for inclusion of objectivity and outside perspective in the working of the IC. External member is on the pay-roll, hence won’t be biased and will not hesitate to question anyone in a senior position.
All the complaints should be in written form. In case, aggrieved woman is unable to submit a written complaint, the IC will provide her all assistance so that the complaint could be submitted in written form.
You can always discuss with you HR, management leadership or any member of IC.
No. According to section 4 of the act, the Internal Committee shall be constituted at all administrative units or offices, where the offices or administrative units of the workplace are located at different places or divisional or sub-divisional level.
In this case, the investigation and redressal process will sit in the organisation from which the female employee belongs. Your organisation will need to support the investigation process from time to time
The IC is responsible to handle such kinds of complaints just as any other. Even an ex-employee’s complaint has to be taken at par with an employee’s complaint since the respondent may still be working with the Organisation. Ex- employees need to be available and follow the process of investigation.
A period, not exceeding three years, from the date of their nomination.
The Act prohibits disclosure of the identity and addresses of the parties- aggrieved woman, respondent and witnesses. However, information regarding the justice secured to any victim of sexual harassment under this Act without disclosing the identity can be disseminated.
Yes. The IC can forward a complaint to the Police for registering the case under Section 509 of IPC and any other relevant provisions of the IPC within 7 days. (Section11(1))
In the event of non-compliance by the respondent of the terms and conditions of a settlement agreed upon and when the aggrieved woman informs the IC about it, the IC may make an inquiry or forward the complaint to the Police.(Section 11(1))
When IC feels there can be a threat to the complainant or it is a serious case of assault, IC can always take the case to police.
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