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Mastering Case -4, Sexual harassment case before an HR
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What will you do as an HR head when you receive sexual harassment complaint against your star performer in the company? Check out here for a structured approach to deal with such case studies

Athul Vijayakumar
Appeared for Mains exam in 2013,2014,2015&2016. Teaching Polity, Ethics, current affairs, Governance and Environment for past 2 years

Unacademy user
Very neat & clean Good
Highly organized way of approaching case studies ..thanks a ton sir!
Good way of dealing with case studies sir, very useful
  1. Mastering Ethics Case Studies By Athul vijayakumar

  2. About me Athul Vijayakumar Btech in Marine engineering (CUSAT) : Written mains 2013,14,15 &16 Topped Philosophy optional Consistently scored above '125 for GS 1 prelims GS faculty - Ethics, Polity, current affairs, governance and social justice UNACADEMY courses PRELIMS ROUND UP- DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS please RATE, REVIEW AND SHARE

  3. Question You are the Human Resources head of a prominent IT company. Your company is about to enter into a long term partnership with Government for developing e-governance applications. You received a sexual harassment complaint from a senior employee in which she accuses a senior project manager of your company as the perpetrator. This manager is your company's natural choice for all high profile projects. He is a high performing employee and his domain knowledge with e-governance systems is the best in market. The CEO of the company personally calls and ask you to either hush up the matter or convince her to withdraw the complaint. What will your course of action be? (250 Words, 20 Marks)

  4. Structure .Identify the stakeholders The legal aspect of sexual harassment at workplaces Intro Pros and cons of the CEO's actions .Explain the course of action Evaluate the pros and cons of the proposed Body course .Way forward Conclusion

  5. Introduction Crux of the issue:- Right to work with dignity is an inalienable right of all working women and sexual harassment at work place violate this right. The parliament hence enacted, the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 guided by the Supreme Court's Vishaka guidelines. Under it Every company should have an Internal Committee to monitor complaints of sexual harrassment . Stakeholders: Me, the Human Resources head The alleged victim in the complaint the senior employee The accused in the complaint - the senior project manager . The CEO of the company . Government the would be client 'All women employees in the company

  6. Body Suggested CEO action: Either to hush up or to convince her to withdraw the complaint Pros: ' Greater chances of success of the company's long-term partnership with the Govt. . Cons: Would not deliver justice to the alleged victim - her right to be heard is taken away If the woman goes public with the allegation, it would hurt the company's image Not following the due process of raising the matter to the Internal Committee ' Set a bad precedent -Discourage other women to speak up about sexual harassment Though the long-term success of the company is important, it should be ethical and gender sensitive thus I would not follow the CEO

  7. Body Course of action: . I would advice the alleged victim to approach the Internal Complaints Committee within the company that monitors cases of sexual harassment I would maintain confidentiality of the case by not divulging the name of either the victim or the accused I would also report to the Ethics Committee of the company, about how the CEO tried to unethically bury the case, otherwise he will continue with this practice of hushing up sexual harassment cases

  8. Body Evaluating the course of action: Pros: Adhering to the law of the land and thus ensuring the alleged victim's right to be heard is preserved and her fundamental rights at workplace are protected Making sure that victim gets justice Boost the morale of the women of the company they would be emboldened to report sexual harassment in the future Help create a gender sensitive work culture in the company Upheld the professional ethics of an HR head .Cons: My relationship with the CEO might get strained The company may loose out on its long-term partnership with the Govt. and other key contracts, as its star performer in e-governance might be fired

  9. Conclusion Safe working environment is the fundamental right of a working woman Sexual harassment is a violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14, 15 and the right to life with dignity under Article 21 The provisions of the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act should be implemented in letter and spirit. The environment should be made conducive to women to express complaints without fear.