PREVENTION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT ACT, 2013 (POSH)
The Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) at Workplace Act of India mandates every organization to define their sexual harassment policies, prevention systems, procedures and service rules for its employees.
As per Section 2 of the Act, sexual harassment includes the following acts either directly or by implication:
- physical contact and advances; or
- a demand or request for sexual favors; or
- making sexually colored remarks; or
- showing pornography; or
- any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature;
As per Section 3 of the Act, no woman should face sexual harassment at any workplace. Sexual Harassment includes following circumstances along with others, if happens or is connected to any act or behavior of sexual harassment:
- implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in her employment; or
- implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in her employment; or
- implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status; or
- interference with her work or creating an intimidating or offensive or hostile work environment for her; or
- humiliating treatment likely to affect her health or safety
The Act extends to whole of India.
Section 4 of the POSH Act mandates all the employers having 10 or more employees to constitute in writing an “Internal Complaint Committee” (ICC) which should consist of a Presiding Officer, not less than two Members and one member from NGO’s committed to the cause of women, provided that at least one- half of the total members nominated should be women.
- In the case where offices or units of an organization are present in different places, ICC should be constituted in all the units or branches.
- In case of an organization having less than 10 employees or if the complaint is against the employer himself, the employee may directly complaint to Local Complaints Committee (LCC) constituted at District Level.
Penalty for non-compliance with provisions of Act.
As per sub- section (1) of Section 26 of the Act; If an employer fails
- Constitute and ICC under Section 4 of the Act,
- Take actions as per the provisions of the Act,
- Contravenes or attempts to contravenes other provisions of this Act or rules made,
He shall be punished with a fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees.
As per sub-section (2) of Section 26 of the Act, if any employer subsequently commits after having convicted of the same offence, he will be liable to
- Twice the punishment of first conviction, subject to maximum provided for the same offence, provided in case a higher punishment is prescribed in any other law for the offence, the court shall consider the same while awarding the punishment
- Cancellation, of his license or withdrawal, or non-renewal, or approval, or cancellation of the registration by the Government required for carrying out his business.
The following cases may lead to Punishment as per the service rules or in absence of that, as may be prescribed:
- As per Section 14 of the act, if ICC or LLC finds out that the aggrieved women or the person making the complaint have made false or malicious complaint or have published any false evidence.
- As per Section 17 of the act, if any person is found guilty of publication or making known contents of complaint and inquiry proceedings.
What we can assist you with:
- Drafting HR policy
- Drafting POSH Policy
- Assistance in drafting committee for POSH in your entity
- Orientiation in factory/office
- POSH Trainings
- Assistance in Compliance Reporting with State Government