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FIIRE’S POLICY ON PREVENTION, PROHIBITION AND REDRESSAL OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT WORKPLACE

We at FIIRE, believe in fostering a workplace environment that is free from all forms of harassment. We are committed to providing a workplace of equal opportunity and strive towards allowing people the right to work with dignity. We have formulated this Policy in order to create a safe and conducive work environment for all our members. This Policy establishes FIIRE’s role in addressing instances of sexual harassment and is formulated keeping in mind the principles of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.

 

We strive to be an inclusive co-working space and hence, unlike the Act, this Policy aims to be gender neutral and applies to all genders. We expect all members to be considerate, respectful and collaborative towards each other while at the facility and/or otherwise outside the facility.

  1. PURPOSE AND SCOPE

The primary objective of this Policy is to prevent and protect persons against sexual harassment at workplace and provide redressal of complaints of sexual harassment and matters related to it.

  1. APPLICABILITY

  1. This policy shall be applicable to;

  1. The in-house employees of FIIRE

  2. All the establishments having their base in FIIRE and all persons employed in these establishments, provided that such establishments do not have their own sexual harassment policies.

  3. All individuals who take up a place at the facility.

  4. All individuals who take up a virtual space at the facility.

  5. Guests, visitors, investors and consultants

  1. This policy applies to any and/or all alleged acts of sexual harassment against a person at FIIRE, irrespective of whether the incident has occurred during or beyond “office hours”, provided that such incident has occurred in the course of association with FIIRE, its affiliates and investors.

  2. It is pertinent to note that this policy shall in no  manner restrict or prohibit any aggrieved person from taking recourse to any other remedy available to them under the Law.

  1. DEFINITIONS

  1. Complainant: means a person, of any age whether employed or not, who alleges to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment by the respondent. It includes contractual and temporary employees, interns, visitors etc.

  2. Community Manager: means a person appointed by FIIRE to handle matters per this policy.

  3. Employer: means a person responsible for the management, supervision and control of the establishment having its office at FIIRE.

  4. Local Committee: It is a district level committee constituted under the sexual harassment law to redress complaints of sexual harassment at workplace of organisations employing less than 10 persons or to redress complaints against the employer.

  5. Member: shall mean and include all the establishments in the facility and all persons employed by such establishments, all individuals who take up a space at the facility, all individuals who take up a virtual space at the facility, guests, visitors, investors and consultants.

  6. Respondent: means a person against whom the Complainant has made a complaint of Sexual Harassment.

  7. Sexual Harassment:

includes any one or  more of the following unwelcome acts or behaviour whether directly or by implication namely,

    1. Physical contact and advances: or

    2. A demand or request for sexual favours or

    3. Making sexually coloured remarks or

    4. Showing pornography or

    5. Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non verbal conduct of a sexual nature.

    6. The following circumstances, among other circumstances, if it occurs, or is present in relation to or concerned with any act or behaviour of sexual harassment may amount to sexual harassment:

      1. Implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in a person’s employment or

      2. Implied or explicit threat to detrimental treatment in a person’s employment or

      3. Implied or explicit threat about a person’s present or future employment status or

      4. Interference with a person’s work or creating an intimidating or offensive or hostile work environment for a person or

      5. Humiliating treatment likely to affect a persons health or safety.

  1. PREVENTIVE ACTION

  1. We, at FIIRE endeavour to use our best efforts to ensure that everyone working at FIIRE feels safe and respected. Therefore all our inhouse employees, members, visitors, guests, investors and consultants are required to follow this Sexual Harassment policy both in letter and spirit.

  2. We shall take reasonable steps to ensure prevention of sexual harassment at workplace which includes but is not limited to;

    1. Circulating applicable policies and other relevant information to all our members.

    2. Undertaking regular training and awareness sessions.

    3. Training our Manager on dealing with complaints of sexual harassment.

 

  1. ROLE OF FIIRE IN ADDRESSING COMPLAINTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

  1. Sexual harassment may occur not only where a person uses sexual behaviour to control, influence or affect the career, salary or job of another person, but also between members or between inhouse employees and members. It may occur between a member of FIIRE and someone that the member deals with in the course of his/her work or between a member and a visitor, guest, investor or consultant.

  2. We do not have an employer – employee relationship with our members therefore we do not have the authority or obligation to take up matters of sexual harassment, but if a aggrieved member approaches us with a complaint of sexual harassment we shall provide them with all the possible support and assistance and help them connect to the appropriate authority.

  3. We wish to establish that we merely connect you with an investor, vendor or consultant but in no manner warrant or vouch for the acts of such persons. We disclaim responsibilty for any untoward acts of such persons but if a aggrieved member approaches us with a complaint of sexual harassment we shall provide you with all the possible support and assistance and help her connect to the appropriate authority.

  4. We shall cooperate with all the authorities and shall furnish all information that is required by the authorities in regards to the complaint and for conducting an inquiry.

  1. PROCEDURE TO DEAL WITH COMPLAINTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

  1. First and foremost it is pertinent to note that all complaints of sexual harassment shall be made in writing to the Manager preferably within 3 months from the date of the incident.

  2. All complaints of sexual harassment directed to FIIRE shall be dealt with in the following manner:

    1. If the Complainant is an employee of a member organisation we shall direct the complaint to the employer of the organisation for further action.

    2. If the Aggrieved person is an individual / self employed based in FIIRE or has a virtual space in FIIRE, we shall assist him/her and connect him/her to the appropriate authority.

    3. If the complaint is made by an aggrieved person one organisation against an employee of another organisation then in such case the Internal Committee of the organisation of the Aggrieved person shall take up the matter. If neither party has constituted an Internal Committee the aggrieved person has an option of either filing a complaint with the Local Complaints committee or the Police department.

    4. If you are an in house employee of FIIRE all complaints may be directed to either the Local Committee, or our Manager or the Police.

    5. If the complaint of sexual harassment is against an investor or consultant we take no responsibility for the same, but shall provide the required support and assistance to the Complainant.

  1. OBLIGATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBERS

We have a zero tolerance policy against sexual harassment and expect all our members to act in a manner consistent with this policy. We wish to establish a 100% harassment free FIIRE Community and for this purpose we require our members to abide by certain obligations;

  1. Members shall not:

    1. Make anyone uncomfortable irrespective of whether they belong to your organisation or not.

    2. Make vulgar and inappropriate comments.

    3. Share, store or display sexually explicit and offensive content.

    4. Deliberately intimidate, stalk or follow a person

    5. Engage in harassing photography or recording

    6. Use disrespectful language

    7. Bring strangers to the facility

    8. Engage in inappropriate or otherwise unwelcome physical contact or sexual attention of any kind e.g. unwanted hugs, playing with hair, touching, kissing, pinching, blocking path, brushing against someone, invading someone’s personal space etc.

    9. Act in a manner that causes discomfort and/or humiliates a person

    10. Show pornography, make or post sexual pranks, sexual teasing, sexual jokes, sexually demeaning or offensive pictures, cartoons or other materials through email, SMS, MMS etc.;

    11. Repeatedly ask a woman to socialize during off-duty hours

    12. Demand or request for sexual favors;

    13. Give gifts or leave objects that are sexually suggestive;

    14. intrude upon one’s privacy;

    15. Sing or hum vulgar songs.

    16. Invite strangers to the facility

    17. victimise either the Complainant or witnesses

    18. participate in any activity which constitutes harassment

    19. Advocate for, or encourage, any of the above behaviour

  2. All members shall;

    1. Promptly report all instances of sexual harassment

    2. If you observe anything that you think is not right please step in right away to rectify the situation before it escalates. You may report any instances to our Manager at the contact details provided hereunder.

    3. If he/she has been a witness to acts of sexual harassment, act as a witness if the person being harassed decides to lodge a complaint

    4. If they employ 10 or more persons, constitute an Internal Committee in accordance with the law.

    5. Ensure that all your employees, guests and visitors do not engage in any form of sexual harassment.

  1. CONFIDENTIALITY

All instances that are reported to us shall be kept confidential, the identity of the complainant, respondent, witnesses etc shall be kept confidential at all times. It shall not be published or made known to the public.

  1. DISCIPLINARY ACTION

  1. We view all instances of sexual harassment seriously and encourage employees to report any instances of Sexual Harassment to either their respective employers or our Manager.

  2. Members that are found in violation of this Policy may, at the sole discretion of FIIRE be removed from the facility and no refunds of any advances shall be refundable.

  1. CONTACT US

Any complaints of sexual harassment may be directed to our Manager, Ms. Inseyah Ali at inseyah@fiire.org.in.

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