Punishment for Sexual Harassment

Last updated on Jun 22, 2022

The law does not have a single punishment for all cases of Sexual Harassment at the workplace. Instead, the Committee investigating will recommend that the victim‘s employer act according to the service rules of their workplace, if it has them(( Section 13(3)(i), Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.)). If you have an employee handbook, please refer to that to see how your employer punishes sexual harassment. If the workplace does not have service rules, then the Committee will recommend that the District Officer take action. As punishment, an offender may(( Section 9, Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Rules, 2013.)):

  • Have to give a written apology
  • Be denied a raise/promotion/increment
  • Have to do community service
  • Be given a warning or censure
  • Lose their job
  • Have to get counselling

Whether or not the workplace has service rules, the Committee can also recommend that the employer take a certain amount from the offender’s salary/wages so that compensation can be paid to the woman who was harassed. If the employer cannot take money from the offender’s salary because they are not working or have left work, the Committee can order the offender to pay the victim directly. If the offender does not pay the compensation, then the Committee can ask the District Officer to get the money from the offender(( Section 13(3)(ii), Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.)).

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