Equality wants companies to pursue impudent looks and comments on sexual appearance

The Ministry of Equality has promoted a protocol to combat sexual harassment in the work in which it urges companies to pursue attitudes such as "jokes and com

Equality wants companies to pursue impudent looks and comments on sexual appearance

The Ministry of Equality has promoted a protocol to combat sexual harassment in the work in which it urges companies to pursue attitudes such as "jokes and comments on sexual appearance", "unwanted" contacts in social networks or the "impudent looks ".

They are some of the behaviors, together with others more explicit or intimidating, which is asked to sanction in the internal plans of companies to guarantee equality between men and women in the work environment. And is that one in five women who suffer sexual harassment in Spain ensures that she was in her workplace.

The Protocol has been prepared by the Institute of Women, an agency attached to the Ministry that leads Irene Montero, and aims to serve as inspiration for the guidelines adopted by companies with more than 50 workers.

The Protocol typifies the attitudes that must be considered as harassment and articulates a whole comprehensive action procedure for the company to detect, investigate and sanctiate the aggressors.

Among the sanctionable "verbal behaviors" are insinuations or propositions, "offensive flirtes", "insinuating, indirect comments or obscene comments", called or "contacts by undesirable social networks" and "jokes or comments on sexual appearance".

In the "non-verbal behaviors" is exhibiting sexually suggestive or explicit photos, the "impudent looks" or the "gestures". Also "messages" in email or social networks of "offensive character" "and with" clear sexual content ".

There is a third category of "physical behaviors" that has to do with non-designed contacts, "hugs or unwanted kisses" or "excessive physical approach".

Any of these behaviors should be denounced and, for this, a confidential mechanism is proposed, which is not secret, to activate an internal investigation into the company. This instruction would be in the hands of a specialized committee, formed by members of management and representatives of workers, who would call the two to give declaration and collect the tests or versions of potential witnesses.

The goal is to determine if there was an act of harassment and, if so, impose a sanction. This could lead, depending on the severity of the episode, "the transfer, displacement, change of position, day or location", the suspension of employment and salary, the limitation to ascend or, in a serious case, the disciplinary dismissal. If it is a mild act and the victim agrees, a possible output may be issued an apology.

The research of the company is compatible with any of the two parties to go to the courts. It is because the episode of harassment is constitutive of a criminal offense or because one of the two is against the resolution adopted by the Committee of the Company.

One of the most relevant aspects of the Protocol is the requirement of speed. Any complaint must be resolved between three and four weeks after presenting. So, the problem is cut as soon as possible. Otherwise, it is believed that the complaints are discouraged and it is caused that, in severe cases, the woman is forced to leave her use, the feared "double victimization".

As a context, 72% of women who have suffered harassment at work admit not having warned the company for fear of reprisals or social stigma, according to an equal sponsored CCOO study.

The most frequent actions were sexist jokes (83.1%), "piropos and sexual comments" (74.8%), "gestures or insinuating looks" (73.3%), "physical contact" (67.0%) and invitations with a sexual end (30.9%).

Updated Date: 08 October 2021, 11:37

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