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What constitutes as Sexual Harassment?
Sexually harassing behaviour includes such unwelcome sexually determined conduct as:
- Physical conduct and advances
- A demand or requests for sexual favours
- Sexually coloured remarks
- Showing pornography
- Any other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of the individual’s employment or business or professional relationship with iarani Inc.
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or business or professional decisions adversely affecting such individual
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or business/professional relations with iarani Inc. or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work/business/professional environment
- Unwelcome sexual advances, flirtations or propositions
- Verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic comments about an individual’s body, sexual innuendo or gossip about sexual relations
- The display of derogatory or sexually explicit cartoons, photographs, e-mails, computer images, or drawings
- Suggestive or obscene notes, letters, emails or invitations
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What happens when a complaint registered?
iarani Inc. has setup an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) to be known as Anti-Sexual Harassment (ASH) Cell. ASH Cell is responsible for addressing any complaints filed/ reported by the employees about sexual harassment at the workplace. The ASH Cell is responsible in ensuring that iarani Inc. fulfils all employer obligations as required by the “The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013” or any other relevant provisions in the prevailing acts. We understand all genders are vulnerable to sexual harassment and take complaints by all genders seriously and qually.
The ASH Cell will consist of four members, as follows-
- One presiding officer, a senior women employee in the work place of iarani Inc.
- Two members from within iarani Inc. amongst employees
- One member from amongst NGOs or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to Sexual Harassment
Confidentiality of Complaints
The ASH Cell will maintain confidentiality of all matters related to a complaint on sexual harassment to the extent it can, without compromising the integrity of its investigation. The ASH Cell will make its best effort to balance between the privacy needs of all parties involved in a complaint and the requirement of conducting a fair and effective investigation.
iarani Inc. will make its best efforts to ensure that raising a bonafide complaint about sexual harassment at workplace will not lead to reprisals or retaliation towards the complainant or the witnesses.
Investigation of a Complaint
Once a complaint is received, the ASH Cell will conduct a prompt, thorough and objective investigation of all complaints received. It will
- Setup a meeting with the complainant to obtain more details about the complaint
- Conduct further investigation to corroborate the facts
- Interview relevant persons including the accused and potential witnesses
- Arrive at an appropriate disciplinary action against the accused, if the accused is found to have engaged in harassment or other inappropriate conduct
- Maintain minutes of all its meetings
Disciplinary Action for Sexual Harassment
If a complaint is found to be valid by ASH Cell, the employee(s) accused for sexual harassment, irrespective of their status in the organization, will face disciplinary action which may include termination from services as well as payments of compensation to the complainant.
Likewise, through investigation by ASH Cell, if it is determined that an accusation is fabricated, and/or is made with malicious intent, then the false accusation may be grounds for appropriate disciplinary action against the complainant as well as any witness who has given false evidence.
The ASH Cell will propose action to be taken if charges are proved. iarani Inc. will act on the recommendation within 60 days
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Protection Against Retaliation
Any employee who files a complaint of sexual harassment or other discrimination in good faith will not be adversely affected in terms and conditions of employment and will not be retaliated against or discharged because of the complaint even when s/he is unable to substantiate her/his complaint or provide adequate proof in support of her complaint.
IARANI INC will not tolerate retaliation against any employee who in good faith uses this reporting procedure or files, provides a statement, testifies, assists or participates in a sexual harassment investigation, proceeding or hearing. IARANI INC also prohibits retaliation against any employee who opposes harassment of others.
Any employee who believes that they have experienced or witnessed retaliation must immediately report such conduct to the ED of IARANI INC. Reports of retaliation will be promptly and thoroughly investigated. If IARANI INC determines that an employee has engaged in retaliation, it will take appropriate disciplinary action against the employee, up to and including termination of employment.
Personal Liability for Sexual Harassment
If any employee at IARANI INC is found to have engaged in sexual harassment, he may be held personally liable in a civil lawsuit and/or legal actions under criminal law as may be applicable. IARANI INC will provide assistance to the aggrieved person, if she/he so chooses to file a complaint in relation to the offence under the Indian Penal Code or any other law for the time being in force.
“Making a compliant of Sexual Harassment is an extremely serious matter and it affects the life, career and reputation of the parties involved, hence the Organisation takes such issues with utmost seriousness and sincerity. The individuals cannot be permitted to abuse the law and this Policy for personal gains, settling scores and revengeful tactics. Consensual activities cannot be construed as Sexual Harassment.
Therefore, where the ICC arrives at a conclusion that the allegation against the Respondent is malicious or the Aggrieved Employee or any other person making the complainant, has made the complaint knowing it to be false or such person has produced any forged or misleading document, it may recommend to take action against the complainant as per the code of conduct/service rules of the Company including a verbal or written reprimand, probation, demotion, suspension or dismissal of Aggrieved Employee or such person.”
Prevention is the best method of handling workplace sexual harassment and the best way to prevent sexual harassment is to create awareness among all employees. The ED of IARANI INC, along with active participation from ASH Cell will take up the following activities to create awareness of sexual harassment and this policy:
- Publicize the Anti Sexual-Harassment policy to all employees
- Ensure the new employees are made aware of this policy at the time of induction
- Conduct counseling sessions, if needed
- Periodically communicate the names and contact details of the ASH Cell members