Sexual Harassment At Workplace: Challenges and Solutions

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We define sexual harassment at the workplace as behaviour characterized by unwelcome and inappropriate sexual remarks or physical approaches. There are various sexual harassment challenges in the workplace that need to be tackled correctly.

It is well-known that women experience frequent sexual harassment at their workplaces more than they would like to admit. To protect them from this, we have PoSH Act. It provides safety to the woman and a complaint redressal mechanism to seek justice. However, we can only see results if we approach PoSH properly.

Despite the PoSH Act making it easier for women to file complaints and seek redressal, they still face challenges. Below are some of these questions with the corresponding solution.

Sexual Harassment Challenges & Solutions

Identifying and realizing that a person is being sexually harassed, as with any harassment, becomes challenging.

As harassment starts, it’s unclear if the Act involves awkward acts or intentional actions to make you uncomfortable.

Employees prefer to portray a sexual harassment incident as a disciplinary issue. They are afraid of being criticized or retaliated against if they file a sexual harassment complaint. Also, they don’t want to be perceived as victims or attention-seekers.

Solution

The solution to this issue would be for the aggrieved to follow the steps in the Act and file a complaint with the IC. The IC then will maintain the complaint and the entire issue confidential to the extent possible.

Any company where the employees feel unsafe speaking their truth must reanalyze its culture and make it a more conducive environment for its employees.

PoSH Act, 2013 is not Gender-neutral

One of the biggest criticisms of this Act is that it is not a gender-neutral act; harassment does not discriminate in general. Although, it is true that most women face these issues.

It is also worth noting that men are a victim of this as well. The Act does not address the redress procedure when an employee of any gender is subjected to sexual harassment. Employees of the opposite gender are unable to report.

Solution

An organization can create a separate policy on sexual assault for all genders to close this gap.

However, the new committee will not fall under the coverage of the PoSH Act. Instead, it will ensure the safety of all workers and hear their complaints. Additionally, employees can receive instructions on their rights and obligations. Thereby, creating a harassment-free workplace, as long as the policy remains gender-neutral.

PoSH complaints are not anonymous

The Act specifies that the complainant must give a written complaint to the IC for further investigation. Further, the organization is not required to respond to an anonymous complaint.

But what if responding to an anonymous report can prevent the accused from engaging in further heinous behaviour?

This situation places the management in a precarious position.

Solution

A company must consider an anonymous complaint for the well-being of the company and the protection of employees.

Regular training is crucial to address sexual harassment challenges and find solutions. By giving this issue some additional importance, we can create an amazing organization.

If you or your employees want training on PoSH, please connect with us at partner@edu4sure.com or call us at +91-9555115533.

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