Synopsis1) Definition2) Causes3) Impact4) Laws5) Managing Sexual Harassment6) Companies with Best Sexual Harassment Policies7) Live Example
Definition “Unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favours, and otherverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassmentwhen this explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment,unreasonably interferes with an individual work performance, or creates anintimidating, hostile or offensive work environment” •U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Causes of Sexual Harassment1) Socialisation: The way in which men and women were brought up to see themselves and others strongly influences their behaviour. Various viewpoints could create a climate that allows sexual harassment2) Power games: Some men feel threatened by the career advancement of women Other men who have recently gained positions of power (possibly after decades of discrimination) may also try to prove themselves by harassing women subordinates.3) Moral values, divorce and cultural differences: The prevalence of marital stress and divorce in our society cultural differences about what is, or isnt, acceptable in our rapidly-changing society could make them vulnerable to sexual harassment.
4) Credibility and victim-blaming: The credibility (The quality of being believable or trustworthy) of the victim is often called into question, as it is usually her word against that of the harasser/s.5) Aggressiveness or bravado: Men in groups often behave differently from how they would as individuals. This can explain some of the "gang harassment" that occurs when a woman enters a plant.6) Lack of company policy
Impact of Sexual Harassment on Job Performance & Individual 1) Loss of confidence in superiors, 2) Deteriorating relationships with co-workers, 3) Increased absenteeism, 4) Increased turnover. 5) Decreases in productivity and worker longevity inevitably lead to monetary losses for the organization. 6) Costs associated in hiring new employees to replace those who leave due to sexual harassment experiences. 7) costs associated with litigation regarding sexual harassment, 8) And finally costs required for management and minimization of damage to organizational reputation through public relations.
LAWS ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT1) Laws under Indian Penal Code (IPC) i. Section 209: Obscene acts and songs, to the annoyance of others like: does any obscene act in any public place or sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words in or near any public place. ii. Section 354: Assault or use of criminal force on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty. Punishment: 2 years imprisonment or fine, or both iii. Section 376: Rape. Punishment: Imprisonment for life or 10 years and fine iv. Section 509: Uttering any word or making any gesture intended to insult the modesty of a woman. Punishment: Imprisonment for 1 year, or fine, or both. (Cognisable and bailable offense)
2) The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act (1987) If an individual harasses another with books, photographs, paintings, films, pamphlets, packages, etc. containing ‘indecent representation of women’; they are liable for a minimum sentence of two years.3) The prohibition of sexual harassment of women at workplace bill, 2010. This Act may be called the Prohibition of sexual harassment of women at workplace bill, 2010. It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.4) Central Civil Service (Conduct) Rules, 1964
Section No: Actions Punishment: Obscene acts and songs, to the Imprisonment for a annoyance of others like: Does term up to 3 months any obscene act in any public209 or fine, or both. place or sings, recites or utters (Cognisable, bailable any obscene song, ballad or and triable offense) words in or near any public place Assault or use of criminal force 2 years imprisonment354 on a woman with intent to or fine, or both outrage her modesty. Imprisonment for life376 Rape or 10 years and fine Imprisonment for 1 Uttering any word or making any year, or fine, or both.509 gesture intended to insult the (Cognisable and modesty of a woman bailable offense)
LAWS ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT (Contd….) Although it is not known to have been used in cases of sexual harassment, the provisions of this act have the potential to be used in two ways: If an individual harasses another with books, photographs, paintings, films, pamphlets, packages, etc.,The Indecent containing ‘indecent representation ofRepresentatio women’; they are liable for a minimum Minimumn of Women sentence of 2 years sentence of(Prohibition) 2 yearsAct (1987) A ‘hostile working environment’ type of argument can be made under this act. Section 7 (Offences by Companies) - holds companies where there has been ‘indecent representation of women’ (such as the display of pornography) on the premises guilty of offenses under this act
MANAGING SEXUAL HARASSMENT1) Say “No” Clearly Tell the person that his/her behaviour offends you. Firmly refuse all invitations. If the harassment doesn’t end promptly, write a letter asking the harasser to stop and keep a copy2) Write Down What Happened As soon as you experience the sexual harassment, start to write it down. Write down dates, places, times, and possible witnesses to what happened. If possible, ask your co-workers to write down what they saw or heard, especially if the same thing is happening to them.3) Report the Harassment Tell your supervisor, your human resources department or some other department or to any person within your organization who has the power to stop the harassment. If possible, tell them in writing. Keep a copy of any written complaint you make to your employer.
4) Start a Paper Trail When you report the sexual harassment to your employer, do it in writing. Describe the problem and how you want it fixed. This creates a written record of when you complained and what happened in response to it. Keep copies of everything you send and receive from your employer.5) Use the Grievance Procedure at Work Many employers and schools have policies for dealing with sexual harassment complaints. You may be able to resolve the problem through this process.6) Involve your Union If you belong to a union, you may want to file a formal sexual harassment complaint through the union and try to get a shop steward or other union official to help you work through the grievance process.7) File a lawsuit
8) To have & communicate a Clear Policy: In the employee handbook or in some other statement of regulations, it’s necessary for all companies to have a clearly articulated statement about sexual harassment.9) Train Employees about what constitutes Inappropriate Behaviour: Just as employees need to be trained in how to perform their jobs, they also need to be trained regarding what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate behaviour toward others in the workplace.
Companies with the Best Sexual Harassment Policies:1.Ford Motor Company2.Boston Globe3.Johnson & Johnson4.Bayer ( global enterprise with core competencies in the fields ofhealth care, nutrition and high-tech materials)5.TATA Power
Sexual Harassment at Lowe’sThis is a strange case of equal opportunity sexual harassment at aLowe’s in Washington. Two young men and one woman were subjectedto sexual harassment, and in one instance a sexual assault took place.The female plaintiff (21 at the time) was taken into the office of the 44-year-old male store manager and allegedly sexually assaulted afterweeks of being subjected to verbal and physical passes. She had alsobeen propositioned for sex by the same manager after she had receiveda promotion. When the victim complained, she was fired along with twoother women who had tried to reach out for help regarding sexualharassment claims.
In 2009, Lowe’s was forced to pay a $1.7 million settlement to thevictims. The EEOC also forced Lowe’s to change its sexual harassmentpolicies and enforcement.EEOC Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo had this to say: “No worker,regardless of gender or other discriminatory factors, should ever have toendure harassment in order to earn a paycheck.” Lowe’s will nowprovide comprehensive training to management, non-management andall resource employees in sexual harassment awareness and how to dotheir part in providing a safe and discrimination-free environment.