Queries
Sir/Madam

Please Guide me How to deal with ananymous complaint letter of sexual harassment . What are provisions to deal with this case and how to handle according to Sexual Harassment Act 2013. Is there any specific format given under this POSH Act.

Thanks and Regards

27th August 2017 From India, Chennai

PARTICIPATING IN DISCUSSION:
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
+1 Other

Dear Gayathri,

You have received anonymous complaint on sexual harassment. But then complainant could be anonymous and the person against whom the complaint is made, has his identity been disclosed? If yes, then keep this person under surveillance. Find out how many women employees are working under this person or associated with this person. Is there any woman whose body language shows that she is upset? Is this person calling women employees in his cabin and spends long time? Is this person staying beyond office hours and is he forcing any woman to stay long too?

You may circulate a notice to all women employees stating that they are free to make a complaint for sexual harassment and your organisation will take strict action against whom the complaint is made. The complaint has to be backed by material evidence. However before issuing this notice to women, make sure that you have Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) well in place and it is functional too.

You have raised another post stating that you wanted to take training on sexual harassment. However, mere you taking the training is not sufficient. You need to educate all the women of your organisation on what is sexual harassment and what are their rights under this sexual harassment act. You may conduct the seminar on this subject. In this seminar, what is not a sexual harassment, this topic also needs to be covered.

The act on sexual harassment was passed in 2013 and now in 2017 you have come up with a query on how to handle the situation on receipt of anonymous letter on sexual harassment. In your another post, you have raised query to confirm the agencies that conduct training on the sexual harassment. Your both the queries casts unflattering light on you and your organisation. Possibly the very cause of anonymity of the complainant could be lack of trust because of your poor awareness and organisation's unpreparedness to handle these sensitive issues.

We need to look from the opposite angle also. Has any employee made attempt to tarnish image of the person against whom the complaint has been made? In such case, the writer of the anonymous letter need not be woman. It could be man also and such letter might have been sent to settle score. Therefore, be cautious before you jump to any conclusion.

Thanks,

Dinesh Divekar
27th August 2017 From India, Bangalore
Dear Gayathri,

To sum up and to add to Dinesh Sir's points,

1. Internal complaint committe shall delve into details and prepare a report within set timtimelines without informing accused party and accusee. As laws and regulations are lenient on anonymous complaints.
2. Increase the servillance to whom complaint has been made.
3. Collate and analyse working condition of both parties.
4. Monitor and document the serious of events and incidents.
5. After carefully studying the above these ICC may arised at conclusion for further investigations and adjorning the case.

There are chances that anonymous complaint may be false, also that part has to be dealt very diligently beacuse it may lead to spoiling the culture of organisation. We have to fairly see both side of the coin.


Hope that this is useful.



Reagrds
Amol Nakve
29th August 2017 From India, Mumbai
Dear Gayathri
The complaint may be anonymous but you should not ignore. Be vigil if there is something will come to notice. Do you have an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC)? If no, then form Internal Complaints Committee immidiately.
Place the complaint before the Internal Complaints Committee, if it is existing. Our collegue Mr. Dinesh Divkar has rightly suggested considering all angles, your proactiveness will help you to handle the matter well.

Regards
29th August 2017 From India, Mumbai
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