Sexual Harassment Policy

HLC – CODE OF CONDUCT TO AVOID / ADDRESS SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT WORK PLACE

  1.   Meaning of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment will include such unwelcome sexually determined behaviour by any person either individually or in association with other persons or by any person in authority whether directly or by implication such as:

Explanation: – Where any comment, act or conduct is committed against any person and such person has a reasonable apprehension that,

  1.  It can be humiliating and may constitute a health and safety problem, or
  2.  It is discriminatory, as for instance, when the woman has reasonable grounds to believe that her objection would disadvantage her in connection with her employment or study, including or promotion or advancement or when it creates a hostile environment, or
  3.  It would result in adverse consequences if she does not consent to the conduct or raises any objection, it shall be deemed to be sexual harassment.
  4.  Eve-Teasing: – Eve-teasing will include any person wilfully and indecently exposing his person in such a manner as to be seen by other employees or use indecent language or behave indecently or in a disorderly manner in the work place. It will also include any word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman by making any sound or gesture or exhibit any object intending that such word or sound shall be heard or that such gesture or object shall be seen by such women or intrudes upon the privacy of a woman employee.
  5.  Sexual harassment of an offender means use of authority by any person in charge of the management or any person employed by it to exploit the sexuality or sexual identity of a subordinate employee to harass her in a manner which prevents or impairs the employee’s full utilisation of employment benefits or opportunities. It also includes behaviour that covertly or overtly uses the power inherent in the status of the employer or the head of the institution or management to affect negatively an employee’s work experience or career opportunities and/or to threaten, coerce or intimidate an employee to accept sexual advances or making employment decision affecting the individual or create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
  6.  Women employees should not be treated as sex objects.
  7.  No male employee shall outrage or insult the modesty of a female employee at the work place.
  8.  No male employee shall make any type of sexual advances to woman colleagues or woman subordinates.
  1.   Formation, power and function of the Internal Complaints Committee Against Sexual Harassment
  1.  The Internal Complaints Committee is formed by the Director by taking four or more members from amongst the staff or from outside and one NGO or other body familiar with the issue of Sexual Harassment.
  2.  The term of the members of the committee is for three years. In case of death, resignation or removal of a member of the Committee, the same shall be filled up within 45 days of such contingency by the management.
  3.  The Committee meets at least once in three months.
  4.  The Committee has the power to enquire into all complaints referred to it either by individual staff / student or the management of HLC regarding the allegation of sexual harassment in the workplace and recommend suitable action including initiation of criminal case or departmental proceeding.
  5.  All Complaints regarding sexual harassment in the workplace are to be addressed to the Chairperson of the Committee mentioning facts of the case, list of witnesses and documents if any to be relied upon. The Chairperson receives all complaints on behalf of the Committee. In case of non-availability of the Chairperson, the complaints will be handed over to any member of the Committee.
  6.  All such complaints are to be placed before the Chairperson who will pass order to convene a meeting of the Committee within 15 days to enquire on the complaints. If the complaint is against any staff of HLC the same shall be forwarded to him /her along with all enclosures in order to submit his /her views within a reasonable time not later than the proposed date of meeting.
  1.   Conducting enquiry by the Internal Complaints Committee
  1.  Any aggrieved person shall prefer a complaint before the Internal Complaints Committee at the earliest point of time and in any case within 15 days from the date of occurrence of the alleged incident.
  2.  The aggrieved person shall contain all the material and relevant details concerning the alleged sexual harassment including the names of the respondent and the aggrieved person shall be addressed to the Internal Complaints Committee.
  3.  If the aggrieved person feels that s/he cannot disclose his/her identity for any particular reason the aggrieved person shall address the complaint to the head of the organisation and hand over the same in person or in a sealed cover. Upon receipt of such complaint the head of the organisation shall retain the original complaint with himself and send to the Internal Complaints Committee a gist of the complaint containing all material and relevant details other than the name of the complaint and other details which might disclose the identity of the aggrieved person.
  1.   Proceedings of the Committee
  1.  The proceedings of the Committee shall be in camera and the parties shall have no right to be represented by anybody.
  2.  The Committee shall take immediate necessary action to cause an enquiry to be made discreetly make such enquiry as may deem to be appropriate.
  3.  In conducting such enquiry the Committee shall be guided by the rules of equity and natural justice and shall not be bound by any formal rules relating to procedure and evidence.
  4.  Before formulating its recommendation, the Committee shall give a summary of the charges against the respondent enclosing the report of materials on which the charges are based and shall, if s/he is not absconding or untraceable, give him/her an opportunity within the time to be specified by the Committee to offer his/her explanation orally or in writing which if given shall be recorded.
  5.  Three members shall form the quorum of the Committee and they will be competent to dispose off any complaint.
  6.  In case of conflict in views amongst the Committee members the recommendation shall be based on the majority view.
  7.  After completing the enquiry the Committee shall record its finding, stating the allegation of sexual harassment in the workplace, it will recommend to the Director of HLC penalty/ action or for criminal proceedings where allegation amount to a specific offence under the Indian Penal Code or any other laws.
  8.  The Director, upon receipt of the report from the Complaints Committee, shall after giving an opportunity of being heard to the respondent, confirm with or without modification the penalty recommended.
  9.  The Committee may also recommend for departmental action if the allegation is found to be false and frivolous.
  10.  In general, the Committee will function and make recommendation in the light of the guidelines given in the following;