The Legal Definition of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is an unwelcome sexual advance, unwelcome
request for sexual favors or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which makes a person feel offended, humiliated, and/or intimidated, whereas a reasonable person would anticipate that reaction in the circumstances.
The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) defines the nature and circumstances in which sexual harassment is unlawful. It is also unlawful for a person to be victimized for making, or proposing to make, a complaint of sexual harassment to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. Best MBA college in Bangalore
Examples of sexually harassing behavior include:
- unwelcome touching;
- staring or leering;
- suggestive comments or jokes;
- sexually explicit pictures or posters;
- unwanted invitations to go out on dates;
- requests for sex;
- intrusive questions about a person's private life or body;
- unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against a person;
- insults or taunts based on sex;
- sexually explicit physical contact; and
- Sexually explicit emails or SMS text messages.
Workplace Sexual Harassment:
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013 addresses the issue of workplace sexual harassment faced by women. Top Ranked MBA college in Bangalore
Women covered under the Act:
- The Act recognizes the right of every woman to a safe and secure workplace environment irrespective of her age or employment/work status. Hence, the right of all women working or visiting any workplace whether in the capacity of regular, temporary, or daily wages basis is protected under the Act.
- It includes all women whether engaged directly or through an agent including a contractor, with or without the knowledge of the principal employer. They may be working for remuneration, on a voluntary basis, or otherwise.
- Their terms of employment can be expressed or implied.
- Further, she could be a co-worker, a contract worker, probationer, trainee, apprentice, or called by any other such name.
- The Act also covers a woman, who is working in a dwelling place or house.
Key elements of workplace sexual harassment
- Very often situations that start off innocently end up in inappropriate and unprofessional behaviors.
- It is important to remember that workplace sexual harassment is sexual, unwelcome and the experience is subjective.
- It is the impact and not the intent that matters and it almost always occurs in a matrix of power.
- It is possible that a woman may experience a single instance of sexual harassment or a series of incidents over a period of time.
- It is important also to remember that each case is unique and should be examined in its own context and according to the surrounding circumstances as a whole.
To enable the prevention of sexual harassment at the workplace, it is critical to recognize and differentiate between welcome and unwelcome sexual behavior. Therefore women have to be educated about the act and provisions introduced to safeguard the women in our country by providing rights irrespective of caste, creed, religion, region, etc.
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