Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment at workplace is prohibited by law and an employer is supposed to create a policy prohibiting sexual harassment at workplace. However, law does not propose any punishment.

In accordance with the Employment Act, a worker is harassed sexually if the employer or its representative or a co worker request (directly or indirectly) for any form of sexual favor in order to get preferential treatment at workplace; or threaten the worker of detrimental treatment on present or future employment status of the worker. Any kind of sexual behavior that makes the victim feel uncomfortable, includes using language (written or spoken) or visual material of sexual nature; and showing physical behavior of sexual nature is considered sexual harassment

In an establishment with 20 or more workers, employer may issue a policy statement on sexual harassment, which clearly defines sexual harassment and states that the workplace is free of sexual harassment. Employer must take measure to ensure that workers are not subjected to sexual harassment and take appropriate disciplinary measures against the person involved in sexual harassment.

The policy statement must also describe the procedure through which worker may bring the complaints of sexual harassment to the attention of the employer. Employer must keep confidential all the information related to the complainant except where disclosure is necessary for the purpose of investigation or taking disciplinary measures. Each worker should be well aware of the provisions of the policy statement.

In accordance with the Sexual Offences Act of 2006, any person, who being in a position of authority, or a person holding a public office, who persistently makes any sexual advances or requests which he or she knows, or has reasonable grounds to know, are unwelcome, is guilty of the offence of sexual harassment and is liable to imprisonment of at least three years or to a fine of at least 100,000 shillings or to both.

Source: §6 of the Employment Act 2007; §28 of the Sexual Offences Act 2006

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