Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment

The provisions on sexual harassment are contained within the Republic Act 7877 of 1995, under which the state while valuing the dignity of every individual, enhancing the development of its human resources, guaranteeing full respect for human rights, and upholding the dignity of workers, employees, applicants for employment, students or those undergoing training, instruction or education has declared all forms of sexual harassment in the employment, education or training environment as unlawful.

Sexual harassment is committed by an employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, trainer, or any other person who, having authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another in a work or training or education environment, demands, requests or otherwise requires any sexual favour from the other. In employment environment, sexual harassment is committed when: (1) The sexual favour is made as a condition in the hiring or in the employment, reemployment or continued employment of said individual, or in granting said individual favourable compensation, terms, conditions, promotions, or privileges; or the refusal to grant the sexual favour resulting in limiting, segregating or classifying the employee which in a way would discriminate, deprive or diminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect the said employee; (2) The above acts would impair the employee’s rights or privileges under existing labour laws; or (3) The above acts would result in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for the employee.

The law imposes a duty on the employer to prevent or deter the commission of acts of sexual harassment and to provide the procedures for the resolution, settlement or prosecution of acts of sexual harassment. The employer must (a) formulate appropriate rules and regulations in consultation with the jointly approved by the employees, through their duly designated representatives, prescribing the procedure for the investigation or sexual harassment cases and the administrative sanctions.

Any employer or employee who violates these provisions can be penalized, upon conviction, by imprisonment term ranging between one to six months, or a fine ranging between 10,000-20,000, or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.

Source: §2-5 & 7 of the Republic Act No. 7877 of 1995