hate movement

India’s new “Sexual Harassment at Workplace” law

The Protection of Women Against Sexual Harassment at Work Place Bill (“Act”) has been passed in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of the Parliament of India) recently and has become law. This Act deals with protecting women from harassment in the workplace and providing a safe environment.

Let us now analyze the provisions of the Act in detail –

  1. This Act is not gender neutral as only women can file a complaint. No man can file a sexual harassment complaint. Are men not harassed sexually? Do refer to the links here, here, here and here.
  2. As per section 2(o), the definition of “workplace” includes any place visited by the employee arising out of or during the course of employment including transportation provided by the employer for undertaking such journey. Therefore as per this definition even areas outside the control of the employer such as office of clients, taxis, hotels etc… become a workplace. Therefore, during an official tour the place of stay (ie hotel), travel mode (ie. taxi) and office of customers / clients are all included as workplace and the employer is liable if any incident happens with the woman employee . Quite a strange provision as the employer is not responsible and in control of any of these places.
  3. Section 3 defines sexual harassment containing clauses such as ‘implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status’ and ‘interferes with her work or creating an intimidating or offensive or hostile work environment for her’. Therefore bringing out quality issues with the woman’s work or providing / enforcing deadlines may be construed as threatening her future employment status or creating an offensive work environment.
  4. A committee needs to be formed which will look at all sexual harassment cases. The committee needs to have “A woman Presiding officer committed to the cause of women[i]” and minimum 2 other employees “committed to the cause of women”. What does it mean by “committed to the cause of women”. Further, a member has to be from a women NGO and a majority of the members of the committee must be women. By defining the constitution of the committee in such a way, at the very first step itself bias has been introduced. Having a committee which is specifically formed to promote women specific-causes is coloured. How do we expect justice to be served by such a committee?
  5. Section 10 discusses the complaint handling provisions. First, a settlement with the offender would be tried to be achieved. A question: if the woman was sexually harassed, why does she need to reconcile with the offender? This is a point to ponder.
  6. Section 11 states that the committees shall have the same powers as vested in a civil court. A point to be noted here is that none of the members of the committee are required to have legal knowledge or be legal professionals. Providing powers of a court to persons having no legal knowledge is strange.
  7. As per section 12, during the pendency of the complaint the aggrieved woman may request for –
    • transfer to another workplace
    • a paid leave, further, this leave is over and above the ‘Privilege Leave’ grated by the organization. On the face of it, the provisions seem logical, but there are no misuse clauses mentioned in the Act, which will be discussed further.

    Therefore, without a misuse clause this provision is unjust on the employer as the organization may need to give paid leave if a complaint is made.

  8. As per section 13, in case sexual harassment is proved any one of the following provisions may apply –
    • Organization may take action for sexual harassment as per the service rules
    • Deduct a compensation from the salary of the accused employee and the compensation may be recovered as land revenue from the accused employee.

    Quite a strange way to penalize sexual misconduct by providing “Compensation” to the alleged victim… It does not gel well with my senses.

  9. Section 14 states that in case of false complaints (which are backed by forged documents submitted by the complainant or a malicious intent, which needs to be proved) an action will be taken as per the service rules of the organization. Further, it states, if the complaint cannot be substantiated, it will not attract any action. This is an unfair provision as only such false cases which are coupled with forged documents or proving malicious intent attracts penalties. With just one complaint the whole life of the man is ruined, the woman gets immediate relief as mentioned in paragraph 6 above but no particular penalty is prescribed for false complaints. Non-proving of complaint may imply that a frivolous compliant was filed. How is this provision ‘Just and Fair’?
  10. Section 15 determines the level of compensation to be paid to the woman which depends on
    • The mental trauma, pain, suffering and emotional distress caused to her
    • The loss in the career opportunity due to the incident of sexual harassment
    • Medical expenses incurred by the victim for physical or psychiatric treatment
    • The income and financial status of the respondent (Respondent is the person who supposedly commits the harassment)
    • Feasibility of such payment in lump sum or in installments

    The  fourth point above means that if the harasser is a wealthy person, then the compensation level will be higherIn other words, compensation level is determined by the income level of the accused. Something does not seem right, does it give an incentive to a accuse wealthy / senior level employees?

  11. As per section 16, the complaints handled by this Act is specifically kept outside the purview of Right to Information (RTI) Act. Therefore, details of false / fabricated cases will not be available. Further, even in case of false complaints, the identity of the woman will be not be disclosed but the man is open to media trials and his information may be made public. Further, in case of genuine cases, the details may be made public provided the identity of the woman is protected.

There are many issues here, keeping it out of the purview of the RTI Act will not provide information on the misuse of this Act. Further, only successful cases will be reported thus proving a 100% success rate. The identity of women, even in false cases, is kept confidential. As there are no penalties for false cases (we have discussed this is paragraph 8 above) and identity is protected, there is no disincentive to file a false cases. Just an accusation by the woman will destroy a man’s life with no consequences whatsoever for fabricated complaints.

[i] The Chairperson (Woman Presiding officer) to be committed to the cause of woman only in case of Local Complaints Committee. (Section 7)

About Burt Phoenix

Burt hails from his native India, where he is an accountant by profession. He got fed up of the twisted facts, statistics and analysis presented in the media. He finally joined a men’s human right movement. He loves writing, especially when backed by hard data and honest statistics.

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  • Alessandro

    “committed to the cause of women” means a feminist or a feminazi

    • http://jmnzz.wordpress.com Jared White

      “feminist or feminazi”

      One and the same.

  • http://kevin-wayne.blogspot.com Kevin

    Sexual harassment laws are one of the worst disasters Feminism has wreaked on society in the last 25 years. They are what sewed the seeds in my ultimate turn against those Cackling Quacks.

    • http://gloriusbastard.com/ JJ

      Don’t get me wrong, I HATE THESE LAWS. I know what they are for!

      However, it has to get worse before it gets better. These laws are to be intellectually disected, disseminated as to what they actually are, and treated to the contempt they deserve.

      Sadly, many men will get hammered by theselaws unfairly. However, was I shocked when family law nailed me in 2006? You bet. Did I deserve what I got? Only insofar as I should have known better, and looked into what relationships were when I obviously was aware what feminists were and how they manipulated government. I told myself there was still good women in the world; I failed to educate myself that the government was anything but.

      Now men will once again, sadly, find their way here under dire times. Sometimes Kevin, this is the only way we get here.

      The night has to get really dark before the dawn.

  • Reyek

    So they have given feminists(with no legal background) legal power over men through that ‘committee’ and they have the power to demand he pay obscene amounts of money to a woman by claiming ‘mental trauma'(very difficult to prove or disprove) and if he can’t pay the amount in a lump sum they will force him to pay in installments as well meaning that women can officially get alimony by accusing their co-workers of sexual harassment.
    People still think it’s appropriate to call this system ‘patriarchy’?

  • Bewildered

    People still think it’s appropriate to call this system ‘patriarchy’?

    Funny isn’t it?. A ‘progressive’ patriarchy ?
    In any case if this is patriarchy then I shudder to think what a full blown matriarchy would be like !

    • Mike Hunt

      I’m pretty sure you’re seeing it already.

  • The Real Peterman

    What an awful law. Only women can use it? That’s reprehensible.

  • Robert St. Estephe

    Is this just a big typo? It would make more sense if “Jews” and “Aryans” were the pair of categories.

  • wolfgangvonposakilla

    As with most sexual harassment laws this will hurt the employer more than anything else. The results are predictable: after the first few dozen cases employers will wise up and simply stop employing women.

    Feminists setting themselves back, not the first time…

    • DragonFire

      Then they will need ot have an inquiry into why women can’t get hired, decide it patriarchy, and pass more laws making it illegal to NOT hire a woman, regardless of her suitability for the job.

      I want to be joking, but I have a bad feeling I’m not.

  • Falcor

    At this point it seems like men should just stop working in corporate environments in India. We’ll see how long the country lasts if that happens.

  • Robert St. Estephe

    This is such an amazing story of the violation of human rights I expect that ABC 20/20 will be sending a crew out to India right away to cover it.

  • http://vilo13.blogspot.com/ Lucian Vâlsan

    And people call me a misogynist when I say that no Indian man should even have a minor contact with an Indian woman, let alone hire her.
    If I were to be a business owner in India, I would fire all female employees today. Seriously! It’s just too much of a liability!

    • Laddition

      As a guy, I would never even consider taking work/a contract in India, the legal implications of an unfounded accusation are too great. Hopefully the government will work out that their feminist inspired hate-laws hurt their country.

      It makes no difference to me whether Indian guys or foreign guys are accused, it’s misandry and that is enough to stay away.

      Feminism hurts the economy, and that hurts women AS WELL.

      • Datte Hakamura
      • Eriu

        I wonder has the Indian government considered that foreign companies might rethink locating in India?

        If I read the article correctly, the level of compensation for a “harassed” female is dependant on the alleged “harrassers” income.

        Which means it will be the higher income men who these women will target.

        Multinational companies might find it difficult to attract qualified male employees if working in India WITH indian women literally becomes a game of russian roulette, figuratively speaking.

      • Paul Johnson

        See, feminism hurts women, too!
        That’s what I’m going to hurl back, now every time I hear its counterpart hurled at me.

  • Political Cynic

    “This Act is not gender neutral as only women can file a complaint. No man can file a sexual harassment complaint. Are men not harassed sexually? ”

    Speaking as a professional HR consultant who has been investigating complaints of discrimination and harassment for years, and having worked both for organizations that represented employees and for employers, I can state unequivocally that YES, men DO suffer from sexual harassment in the workplace-including situations which border on stalking-and I have personally investigated claims in which the harasser was female. I have ALSO investigated claims in which women have made false allegations, and claims in which women have “decided” well after the fact that something they welcomed was harassing-often in response to discipline or other action. It is a sadly common pattern, in fact. And it is brutally unpleasant for the respondent-particularly those who did nothing wrong.

    The fact that this law is NOT gender neutral is a huge failing in it-although it does, once again, prove that feminists are NOT interested in equality. If they were, this law would be gender neutral.

    And once again, as I suggested in a prior post on another article, I am rapidly coming to think that men MUST begin carrying tape recorders when dealing with women. They may also wish to consider simply wearing lapel cameras at all times to protect themselves.

    • Laddition

      Bought a recorder, quite cheap nowadays. I recommend it.

      How long can society afford feminist BS? seriously? the further they push this BS, the less men are going to listen to complaints in the future.

      There was a moral to the ‘boy who cried wolf’ story, women should check it out.

      The moral being that lies hurt the credibilty of everybody claiming victimhood, especially the real victims. Feminists are inviting future repercussions on normal, decent women. Are sane, normal, reality observing, decent women sure that they should follow these hate mongering ideologues?

      • MDATB

        This will end when men finally pull it together. All there has been is complacency from them.

        • AlexB

          Why?Are women inherently evil or something?

          • MDATB

            No. I was saying when they react to these laws, things will change.

        • sadman365

          Wondering who the dumb f**k who down voted you is.

  • DragonFire

    So…why exactly would indian businesses hire women and put themselves at risk of this?

    • AlexB

      They won’t, then feminists and/or women’s rights groups can complain about women not being employed, giving them another reason to continue to exist and receive funding.It’s important to understand these people create problems for women too, so that they can continue to exist.

  • J Galt

    A complaint can now constitute a fine and or property loss. Given the religious diversity of India this could result in a civil war and much violence. This is a great way for business owners to promote women only sweat shops and remove employment benefits from men. Time to retire guys and let your betters carry the load.

  • Andre

    Organized criminal racket.

  • donzaloog

    This is absolute madness.

  • LionsGate

    I disagree with the picture associated with this article. It is the leaf with the phrase “Feminism is not a movement” written on it. I disagree. I think feminism is a movement. A bowel movement.

    • sadman365

      I think it said “feminism is a hate movement”. That’s the common phrase.

  • sadman365

    More reasons to hate india.

  • http://www.imnotamensrightsactivistbut.wordpress.com Isaac T. Quill

    You mean a state sanctioned Blackmailers charter?

    Funny – it’s what has already been happening without the state sanction, so I wonder how bad it will get when the lid comes off the cess pit!

  • firenech

    Scary stuff. I wonder if men in India are aware of how draconian this law is.

    That is, are they walking into the workplace with targets painted on their backs or on their fronts?

    If I were in India, I’d be looking for an overseas posting immediately.

  • pinetree

    Here is an obvious point: Since when has there been a reported rape in the work place? Rapes generally occur in secluded areas -but this bill is called:
    The Protection of Women Against Sexual Harassment at Work Place Bill (“Act”)

    Real rapes do not occur in the work place. People are too busy working. Although “place” has been extended to other areas.

    The fact is this Bill is more about transfer of power and status to females –which translates into privilege.

  • AlexB

    And I thought people were supposed to be treated equally under the law.It doesn’t take a genius to figure out any law that is biased towards any select group of people is going to create more problems than help.