POSH Law for Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment is a harsh reality of today’s workplaces. Women
empowerment has brought women to the workplace but it is yet to
become a space where women feel safe.
In fact, cases of sexual harassment reported an increase of 45%
from 371 in 2014 to 539 in 2017.
This only proves that sexual harassment will only increase in the
workplace if something isn’t done quickly.
The PoSH Law
For women, sexual harassment has always followed them in the
workplace. And the government hasn’t done anything about it until
1997. After the landmark Vishakha judgment, the need for an anti-
sexual harassment law became a necessity. This lead to the
development of the PoSH law.
The PoSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment in the workplace) has
thus been protecting women against workplace sexual harassment
and help in creating healthy workplaces for women.
Major Provisions of the PoSH Law
The government understood that sexual harassment is not limited
to the designated offices and why women do not speak up against
it. So the law developed not only protected women under all
circumstances but also took necessary actions to prevent sexual
harassment in the future.
Definition of workplace
As discussed, the government understood that sexual harassment
isn’t limited to the designated office. So the government clearly the
term ‘workplace’ to protect women who have been sexually
harassed outside of the designated office. According to the PoSH
law, the term ‘workplace’ includes –
Any department, organization, undertaking, owned, controlled or
managed by the government as well as any private sector
organization or a private venture, undertaking, enterprise, and
Any/every place visited by the employee during the course of
employment including transportation.
Non-traditional workplaces which involve telecommuting and virtual
spaces are covered under the law.
Behavior implied as sexual harassment
The law was clear to define the term workplace. Similarly, the law
clearly defines what is and what isn’t sexual harassment. It was
important to do so since sexual harassment is often overlooked by
women because they are unable to identify it.
According to the PoSH law, the following amounts to sexual harassment in the
• Implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in
• Implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in employment
• Implied or explicit threat about the present or future
How does the law Prevent Sexual Harassment?
The government knew that having a law in place wouldn’t end
sexual harassment. Something more had to be done to make
workplaces safe for women. For this reason, the law made it
compulsory for any employer with 10 (or more) employees to
conduct anti-sexual harassment training in the organization.
With more awareness among employees, not only women are more
encouraged to report sexual harassment but the incidence of sexual
harassment have considerably decreased. There are various
organizations like Rainmaker , that are dedicated to reducing sexual
harassment in the workplace by training employees, managers, and
Make your organization a safe workplace today.
Sexual Harassment can have a Major
Financial Impact on your Business -Vigyaa
Sexual harassment is present in most organizations today. And you
as the employer might not be aware of it altogether. And it shouldn’t
surprise you, employers are often unaware of sexual harassment in
their organization because women who have been harassed do not
But this can cost you.
Simply because you were not aware of what is happening in your
organization. You might have to pay (a lot) for someone else’s
Financial Impact of Sexual Harassment on the Employer
• Sexual harassment claims – One of the youngest directors at
Infosys, Phaneesh Murthy, was accused of sexual harassment
by his executive secretary and was paid $3 million in the
settlement. Imagine having to pay this big of an amount for
someone else’s mistake? This could easily be your organization
too. In fact, sexual harassment claims often go up to as much
as $20 million.
• Impact on goodwill – The brand image that you’ve worked on for
years or even decades will crumble from only one sexual
harassment incident in the workplace. It can negatively impact
your organization and all the hard work that you’ve put in all of
the years to build your business.
• Impact on employees – It shouldn’t surprise you if your
employees start to leave after an incidence of sexual
harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment can make
any workplace hostile, espicially for women. This decreases the
job satisfaction among employees and they start looking for a
better organization with a better workplace. Not just this, you
will face difficulties in hiring new employees since your
organization has a bad reputation due to that one sexual
Non-Compliance to the PoSH Law
The PoSH law was enforced in 2013 to protect women against
sexual harassment in the workplace. It has since made it
compulsory for organizations with 10 (or more) employees to
conduct anti-sexual harassment training to prevent any incidence of
sexual harassment in the workplace.
Is your organization PoSH compliant?
If not, there are going to be consequences.
Non-compliance on your behalf can lead to –
• Non-compliance to the law can attract a financial penalty of Rs
50,000 which can go up to twenty-five lakhs or imprisonment or
both. The term can last for as long as 3 years.
• Once imprisoned for more than 9 months, a director cannot
become a director again for a period of 5 years.
Is your Organization PoSH Compliant?
Sexual harassment and its impact on the organization can be
prevented if organizations comply with the PoSH law and conduct
Organizations like Rainmaker are solely dedicated to reducing
sexual harassment from the workplace and conduct engaging
awareness training among employees, managers, and even
Make your organization a safe working place with awareness
training and prevent sexual harassment today.
Prevent Sexual Harassment in your
Organization Today – Blog planet
Sexual harassment in corporate offices has become a matter of
concern now. Women are being exploited and lack of awareness
and knowledge restricts them from standing up against sexual
Since women do not report sexual harassment to the management,
sexual harassment cases increase and the ones at fault do not face
the fire for it.
‘Will I be blamed for it?’ or ‘Was it really harassment or a friendly
gesture?’ are some of the few questions that come up in the minds
of women who have been harassed. For this reason, the
government took the matter in their own hands to ensure women’s
safety in the workplace.
Origin of the PoSH Law
After the landmark Vishakha Judgement, Vishakha guidelines were
enforced to protect women in the workplace. But soon the
government realized that this isn’t enough to protect women from
sexual harassment. This lead to the formation of the PoSH law.
India’s first comprehensive legislation specifically addressing the
issue of harassment at work – The PoSH (Prevention of Sexual
Harassment at the Workplace) Law was formulated to provide a
the safe and secure working environment for women and encouraging
more women to work.
What is Sexual Harassment Under the PoSH Law?
Identifying sexual harassment has been difficult for women for many
reasons. Often sexual harassment is overlooked thinking that it was
a ‘friendly gesture’ or ‘that’s not what the intention was.’ But both
male and female employees need to understand that the intention
does not matter – the impact does!
The easiest way to identify sexual harassment is by asking yourself
– “Did that make me feel uncomfortable?”
The law clearly defines what amounts to sexual harassment and here is
what it says –
“Sexual Harassment” includes unwelcome sexual behavior, whether
directly or by implication, such as :
• Physical contact and advances
• Demand or request for sexual favors
• Making sexually colored remarks
• Showing pornography, or
• Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a
Even a tap on the shoulder can amount to sexual harassment if it was
unwelcome. For instance, if a coworker asks you out for dinner, it does not
amount to sexual harassment. But if the same coworker repeatedly asks
you after you have denied his request calls you repeatedly or texts you, it
amounts to sexual harassment.
Prevent Sexual Harassment in your Organization
Identifying sexual harassment is the first step to preventing it. If
women in your organization are aware of what amounts o sexual
harassment they wouldn’t doubt their judgment and report it the
The PoSH law made it mandatory for any organization with 10 (or
more) employees to conduct anti-harassment training among their
employees, managers and even employees to spread awareness
and prevent sexual harassment against women.
Rainmaker is an organization dedicated to providing safe working
places for women by conducting awareness and sensitization
training modules. Its main motive is to remove sexual harassment
from organizations and make it a healthy place for all employees to
Is your organization PoSH compliant?
If not, do it today! Make your organization free from sexual