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Duties of Employer

Duties of Employer
Duties of Employer


Section 19

The responsibilities of the employer under the POSH Act are comprehensive and aim to create a safe and supportive work environment for all employees. Here's a detailed explanation of each duty outlined in Section 19:

  • Provide a safe working environment: Employers are obligated to ensure that the workplace is safe for all employees, including protection from individuals who may pose a risk of sexual harassment.

  • Display information: Employers must prominently display information about the penal consequences of sexual harassment and the establishment of the Internal Committee.

  • Organize workshops and awareness programs: Regular workshops and awareness programs should be conducted to educate employees about the provisions of the Act. Additionally, orientation programs should be arranged for members of the Internal Committee to ensure they are well-equipped to handle complaints.

  • Provide necessary facilities: Employers must provide the necessary resources and facilities to the Internal Committee or Local Committee to effectively deal with complaints and conduct inquiries.

  • Assist in securing attendance: Employers are required to assist in ensuring the attendance of respondents and witnesses before the Internal Committee or Local Committee.

  • Provide information: Employers must furnish any information required by the Internal Committee or Local Committee concerning complaints of sexual harassment.

  • Assist in filing complaints: If an aggrieved woman chooses to file a complaint under the Indian Penal Code or any other applicable law, the employer must provide assistance.

  • Initiate legal action: Employers are responsible for initiating legal action, under the Indian Penal Code or any relevant law, against the perpetrator if the aggrieved woman desires, especially if the perpetrator is not an employee but was present in the workplace during the incident.

  • Treat sexual harassment as misconduct: Sexual harassment should be treated as misconduct under the service rules of the organization, and appropriate disciplinary action should be initiated.

  • Monitor reporting: Employers are tasked with monitoring the timely submission of reports by the Internal Committee to ensure compliance with reporting requirements.

These duties collectively contribute to fostering a work environment free from sexual harassment and ensuring prompt and effective responses to any incidents that occur.


Conduct Amounting to Sexual Harassment

Determining whether an action constitutes sexual harassment depends on the specific behavior and the context in which it occurs. Below are examples of conduct that could be considered as sexual harassment:

  • Unwanted sexual advances or propositions: Making unwanted romantic or sexual advances towards someone.

  • Pestering for dates: Continuously asking someone out on a date despite their refusal or lack of interest.

  • Offering employment benefits for sexual favors: Using one's position of authority to offer job benefits in exchange for sexual acts.

  • Leering: Staring in a sexually suggestive or lascivious manner at someone.

  • Making sexual gestures: Using hand or body movements to convey sexual innuendo.

  • Displaying sexually suggestive objects or images: Putting up sexually explicit or suggestive images, posters, or objects in the workplace.

  • Making derogatory comments: Making disrespectful or offensive comments about a person's body, clothing, or gender.

  • Sending sexually explicit written communications: Sending sexually suggestive letters, notes, or messages, whether in hard copy or electronically.

  • Unwanted physical contact: Touching someone inappropriately without their consent, such as groping or brushing against them.

  • Forcible kissing or hugging: Kissing or hugging someone against their will or without their consent.

  • Exposing private parts or staring: Exposing one's genitals or repeatedly staring at someone's body parts in a way that makes them uncomfortable.

  • Retaliation for rejection: Threatening or taking retaliatory action against someone who rejects sexual advances or reports sexual harassment.

  • Eve-teasing: Making sexually suggestive or harassing remarks or gestures towards women in public spaces.

  • Sexually tinted remarks and jokes: Making jokes or remarks with sexual connotations that are offensive or inappropriate.

  • Innuendos about physical appearance: Making subtle or overt comments about someone's physical appearance in a sexual or demeaning manner.

  • Gender-based insults: Insulting or belittling someone based on their gender.

  • Displaying pornographic material: Showing sexually explicit or offensive material in the workplace.

  • Forcible invitations for dates: Insisting on going on a date with someone despite their refusal.

  • Physical assault or molestation: Physically assaulting or molesting someone without their consent.

  • Implying adverse consequences for refusal: Suggesting or implying that refusing sexual advances or requests for dates could negatively impact someone's job or career advancement. 

These examples exemplify the various behaviors that could amount to sexual harassment, emphasizing the necessity of cultivating a workplace culture that champions respect, dignity, and equality for every employee.


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