Bhanwari who was working in the rural development program of the Government of India was helped by the women’s rights activists and lawyers in filing public interest litigation in the Supreme Court of India under the name of Vishaka for being gang-raped by five men.
The Supreme Court, in this landmark judgment, recognized workplace sexual harassment as a human rights violation and a clear breach of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, 19, and 21 of the Constitution of India.
Based on these guidelines the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (POSH Act) was formed.
Now, the question is whether the sexual harassment as well as rape laws are gender neutral in India? it’s important to remember that the bulk of traffic flows in a single direction which means that mostly people consider about harassment of females only. This is a completely wrong notion as all those who have hearts and souls, are also having dignity, emotions, self-confidence and respect too for themselves.
According to Roberta Chinsky Matuson “Many people mistakenly believe that harassment is limited to females,”. Hence, the prime thing to be noted down is that in sexual harassment victim and perpetrator can be of any gender and the place of harassment can be any school, office, home, university, coaching centres or any other.
Also, with the advent of the Internet, sexual harassment has increased by occurring online.
Just as in current WFH model, when employees work from the comfort of their homes, they carry out their work their work and have official interactions. According to POSH Act, this makes “home” a workplace.
Any organisation in India irrespective of whether they are headquartered in India or not but has ten or more employees should mandatorily conduct the POSH training to sensitize all the employees as well as have an internal committee constituted to handle sexual harassment complaints.
Non- Compliance with the POSH laws can cost an employer a monetary penalty of INR 50,000 or more. On repeated non-compliance, the employer may be penalized with twice the punishment. Non-compliance can also lead to cancellation of license, withdrawal or non-renewal of registration for carrying on business, by the Government or local authority.
Employers have been charged more than Rs.50,000 where the female employees have approached the courts for sexual harassment cases at workplace.
Non-compliance with POSH can cost exemplary damages imposed by the courts including reputation of the company.
*Don’t wait & Get your employees – “POSH AWARENESS TRAINING” done.
This course is intended for any user who can be a worker/ an employee/ an employer/ an executive/ a board member/ HR/ vendor/ CEOs / CA / CS / CLOs / ICC Members / Local Complaints Committee and for all those who want to be aware about Sexual Harassment & its Prevention.
About the Author:
Mr. Amiit Dabke is an HRBP | Certified Emotional Intelligence CXO Coach | Depression Healing Counsellor | NLP Practitioner | MSME Business Guide | Trainer | Story-Teller | Panel Speaker who has also driven Global Sales, Marketing, Quality & Customer Centric Strategies across Industry verticals such as IT& ITES, BFSI, Retail, Healthcare and Manufacturing.
With a total of 22 years of professional experience along with a pedigree from IIT Bombay in HR & Marketing, I specialise in partnering with senior business leaders to develop and embed the people’s strategy and strengthen org culture, aligned to business needs and goals by developing strong, credible relationships with managers and senior stakeholders by driving T&D effectively and efficiently.
Accenture, Rave Tech, Miles Software, Lionbridge Technologies, Kyoritsu Electric India, H.U.L, L&T, Tech Mahindra, L’Oreal, Trust Group, Reliance Cement,, Citrus Check Inns,Dockendale, Haymarket Media, Live Wires- The Media Institute are some of my prestigious associations wherein I am considered not just as a HR and training partner… but as a torch bearer in driving the desired change in their employees, partners, students and vendors respectively.
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