What is Sexual Harassment?
As an individual, we all knew the meaning of sexual harassment but according to the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 the sexual harassment includes any one or more of the following unwelcoming acts or behaviours (whether direct or indirect) namely:-
- physical contact and advances; or
- a demand or request made for sexual favours; or
- making sexually coloured remarks; or
- showing pornography; or
any other unwelcoming physical, verbal/non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.
Applicability of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013
The Act applies to every organization and extended to the whole of India. The act mandates every organization to prescribe their sexual harassment policies, procedures, rule, and regulation for its employees. (Read More: Why Should You Choose An Accountant For Your Business Creation?)
Constitution of Internal Complaints Committee:
Every employer of a workplace will constitute a committee and that committee will be known as Internal Complaints Committee.
The Internal Complaints Committee shall consist of the following members and they shall be nominated by the employer:
- Presiding Officer: Presiding officer will be a woman and should be employed at the senior level in an organization.
What if an organization doesn’t have senior-level women employees?
Then in this scenario, the Presiding officer will be a woman employed at the senior level in other offices or administrative units of the workplace.
- Not less than two members from employees who have experience in social work or have legal knowledge regarding the same.
- One member from the non-government organization or association which work for women safety and their development
Note: At least One-Half of the members so nominated for the Internal Complaints Committee shall be women.
Penalty for Non-Compliance:
If the employers of the organization fail to
- Constitute an Internal Complaints Committee:
- Contravention of any other provision of this Act
Then the employer shall be punishable with the fine which can be extended to Rs. 50,000
Now, the question arises what if the employer who has already been convicted of an offence under the act subsequently commits and is convicted of the same offence, then the employer shall be liable to-
- twice the punishment, which been imposed on a first conviction provided for the same offence;
- Cancellation of the licenseor withdrawal, or non-renewal, or approval, or cancellation of the registration, required for carrying on his business or activity by the Government or local authority.
This content is meant for information only and should not be considered as an advice or legal opinion, or otherwise. AKGVG & Associates does not intend to advertise its services through this.
CS Neetu Saini
AKGVG & Associates