The salient features of the The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2012are as follows:
(i) It defines “sexual harassment at the workplace” in a comprehensive manner, in keeping with the definition laid down in the Vishaka judgment, and broadening it further to cover circumstances of implied or explicit promise or threat to a woman’s employment prospects or creation of hostile work environment or humiliating treatment, which can affect her health or safety. (ii) The definition of “aggrieved woman”, who will get protection under the Act is extremely wide to cover all women, irrespective of her age or employment status, whether in the organised or unorganised sectors, public or private and covers clients, customers and domestic workers as well. (iii) While the “workplace” in the Vishaka guidelines is confined to the traditional office set-up where there is a clear employer-employee relationship, the Act goes much further to include organisations, department, office, branch unit etc in the public and private sector, organized and unorganized, hospitals, nursing homes, educational institutions, sports institutes, stadiums, sports complex and any place visited by the employee during the course of employment including the transportation. (iv) Definition of employee covers regular/temporary/ad hoc/daily wage employees, whether for remuneration or not and can also include volunteers. The definition of employer includes the head of the Government department/organisation/institution/office/branch/unit, the person responsible for management/supervisions/control of the workplace, the person discharging contractual obligations with respect to his/her employees and in relation to a domestic worker the person who benefits from that employment. (v) The redressal mechanism provided in the Act is in the form of Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) and Local Complaints Committee (LCC). All workplaces employing 10 or more than 10...
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