A young lady, who worked with us a month ago, has spoken to the local newspaper about our company and that it allows for women to be harassed. This has caused a huge uproar. We are a small textile company based in a small town. None of the women are being allowed to come back to work, after this article was published.
We also had a few men (husbands of the female employees) threaten to damage the building and all those who are still working at the place.
We are a small company with 30 – 40 workers and I am the owner. We don’t have an IC or any such forum.
Thanks for writing to us. Here are a few steps that we recommend, you take, immediately before the situation gets escalated.
1. Give assurance to all.
2. Ask the alleged complainant to give a written complaint to the firm or with the police as a report to the media cannot be taken up as a formal complaint.
3. Assure that action will be taken up against the accused, if proven.
4. Take steps to become compliant to the Act. For a 40 -50 people organisations, provisions can be made to establish an IC.
5. Also understand the root cause – If such harassment exists, as the Head of the Company, you may need to change the organisation’s culture slowly by setting examples and conducting behavioural and code of conduct trainings
One may think that these trainings are restricted to MNCs only-That’s is just a myth. It is necessary for all organisations to not just focus on training people to do their work – but also on the behaviours required at the Workplace.