Whether or not the actions of Ms. Leslie Gonzales towards Mr. Ray Garcia establishes an act of sexual harassment. Brief Answer
Yes. Ray Garcia may file a sexual harassment complaint against Leslie Gonzales. The actions of Leslie towards Ray may constitute sexual harassment based on the Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 (RA 7877) and in consonance with jurisprudence. Nevertheless, with only the statement of Ray as proof and the lack of witnesses, although the presence of witnesses is not a requisite in RA 7877, the complaint may be faced with difficulties as the burden of proof lies on the claimant. Statement of Facts
Ms. Leslie Gonzales is the VP for Corporate Relations of ILA Company. Ray Garcia directly reports to her as her Executive Assistant (EA). Other than handling Leslie's office requirements, Ray also does confidential work for Leslie and takes care of her personal errands. The relevant details stated in Ray’s filed letter-complaint to the President of ILA Co. and Leslie’s account pertaining to the incidences are as follows:
1. DRIVE TO PAMPANGA
On late November 2010, Leslie, as what she requires Ray to call her, asked him if he has a girlfriend, and upon answering that he has none, Leslie then boldly admitted her fondness of him. Thereafter, Ray noticed that whenever they are left alone in Leslies office, she takes of her coat, to which he feels as if for him to notice her sheer clothes which reveals her lingerie. Ray, although feeling awkward, dared not to bring the matter up so as not to sound impolite to her.
To this allegation, Leslie explained that, as her EA, and because of the nature of his work, Ray is naturally always working closely with her. She requires all her staff as well to call her by her first name as she doesn't want using "Ma'am" and "Sir" at work to encourage a closer working relationship. With regards to her clothes, she stated that she wants to be in comfortable clothes especially when formal meetings are over and during overtime when air-conditioning is turned off. 2. FIVE THOUSAND PESOS
At around 2nd week of December 2010, Leslie called Ray to her room to discuss his presentation after which she handed him Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00). He refused to accept but when Leslie sternly insisted, using the tone of voice that she usually uses when angry, Ray got intimidated and felt obliged to follow. Leslie also instructed him to keep it as a secret since, according to her, she doesn’t want “…to be the subject of any gossip.”
To this incident, Leslie stated that she is also supportive of the educational endeavors of her staff for their professional development. She in fact had previously provided some assistance to Ellen and Emily when they took additional computer courses. According to her, the money she gave is like a gift and a small additional bonus, not only for the extra effort of Ray to do her personal errands, but also for her show of support for his schooling knowing that his salary is not that significant and that an MBA requires additional cash for the projects required. She did not want others to know about the money she gave because the other staff might consider it favoritism or might also expect the same amount from her. 3. COMPANY CELEBRATION
On February 2011, during an office celebration, Leslie suddenly hugged Ray tightly and kissed him. According to Ray, this made him feel ill at ease. He also felt that he could not refuse when his boss asked him to dance with her. During their dance, he observed that Leslie seems to purposely move intimately close to him and kept hugging him during the dance. When he requested to rest from dancing, she threatened to fail him on his performance evaluation if he would do so.
On this dancing and kissing allegation at Clark Pampanga, being a festive occasion, Leslie stated that she hugged and kissed practically everyone from the...