We are living in an era where workplaces accept female employees but don’t always provide a secure environment for them to work in. Sexual harassment has been a harsh reality of the corporate world for decades. And not a lot had changed until last year.
With the #MeToo movement in the west, a lot of women finally spoke up against the presence of sexual harassment in their respective workplaces. This very movement encouraged female employees in India to take a stand and fight for themselves.
In the past, employees were afraid to stand up against sexual harassment due to the lack of knowledge about their rights and legal aid. But the government soon realized the need for a law in place to make workplaces safe which lead to the formation of the PoSH law
How Does the PoSH law Protect Employees?
The PoSH law was enforced in 2013 to protect women in the workplace and help in providing a safe and secure working environment for every employee. But employees were still unaware of their rights. Later, the law made it mandatory for every organization to conduct PoSH awareness training to educate employee and prevent sexual harassment.
The law understood that sexual harassment is often difficult to identify due to its nature. Which is why the law laid down clear guidelines about what amounts to sexual harassment and what does not.
According to the PoSH law, ‘sexual harassment’ includes unwelcome sexual behavior, whether directly or by implication, such as :
- Physical contact and advances
- Demand or request for sexual favors
- Making sexually colored remarks
- Showing pornography, or
- Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature
The law also clearly defines the term ‘workplace’ since sexual harassment can happen outside of the designated office as well.
The term “workplace” in the Act includes any department, organization, undertaking, owned, controlled or managed by the government as well as any private sector organization or a private venture, undertaking, enterprise, and institution.
The Act covers any/every place visited by the employee during the course of employment including transportation. Even non-traditional workplaces which involve telecommuting and virtual spaces are covered under the law.
This Act is for any woman who is harassed in any workplace. It is not necessary for the woman to be working at the workplace in which she is harassed. A workplace can be any office, whether government or private.
What is the Extent of the PoSH Law?
The law made it mandatory for any organization with 10 (or more) employees to constitute an Internal Committee to handle and investigate sexual harassment in the organization. The law also made it mandatory for organizations to conduct PoSH awareness training among its employee to prevent any incidence of sexual harassment.
Prevention of sexual harassment in workplaces is needed now more than ever. We at Rainmaker, are dedicated to the same and help organizations like yourself create a healthy work environment.
Constitute a sexual harassment-free workplace with awareness and training modules today.