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A woman worker can’t be called alone for meeting in office: Panel

Punjab State Women Commission has issued a new set of guidelines to prevent sexual harassment at workplace.

punjab Updated: Oct 30, 2018 11:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Punjab State Women Commission,#MeToo,safety at workplace
(HT File)

Punjab State Women Commission has issued a new set of guidelines to prevent sexual harassment at workplace. Commission chairperson Manisha Gulati, while taking the questions from mediapersons with regard to allegations of “inappropriate SMS” by a woman IAS officer against technical education minister Charanjit Singh Channi, said they have not received any complaint in this regard.

Gulati said if a woman employee is being called for discussion or meeting inside a confined space, all male officers and ministers would now be required to ensure presence of at least one other woman during the entire duration of the meeting.

She said the guidelines will be applicable for government as well as private workplaces. Gulati said she shall seek help from the chief minister in implementing the guidelines.

The guidelines

* Sexual harassment can occur not only where a person shows sexual behaviour to control, influence or affect the career, salary or job of another person, but also between co-workers.

* All male superiors are required to understand that if a woman employee is being called for a discussion or meeting into a confined space (for e.g. an office), he needs to ensure presence of at least one more woman there for the entire duration of the meeting.

* No discussion with regard to salary appraisals or any other monetary issue of a junior woman shall be done with any indication of receiving any favour from her.

* Physical contact or advances construed as sexual in nature by male employees shall be considered as sexual harassment.

* Sexually coloured remarks on a woman’s clothing or body are strictly prohibited at workplace. Indulging in any humour or pranks laced with sexual innuendoes are not allowed.

* Any joke, photo, GIF, video or even plain text sent to a woman’s mobile phone by a male colleague, junior or senior, against her wish shall be taken as sexual harassment and dealt strictly.

* Any communication happening on mobile devices, including mobile phones, tablets, computers or even landlines, are not limited by office hours and hence any objectionable content sent by a male colleague, junior or senior, to a female, even outside the office hours, shall not be tolerated by the Commission and be dealt with in lines with sexual harassment.

First Published: Oct 30, 2018 11:04 IST