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SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Definition of Sexual Harassment


What is sexual harassment? According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment includes: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature ... when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment. As defined by the Philippine Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995, sexual harassment is a request for a sexual favor, accepted or not, from an employer, employee, manager, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, trainer or other persons who have authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another.

Two Types of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace


There are two general categories of sexual harassment in the workplace: Quid Pro Quo Harassment - An employee is required to tolerate sexual harassment in order to obtain or keep a job, job benefit, raise, or promotion. Quid pro quo means "this for that". In the workplace, this occurs when a job benefit is directly tied to an employee submitting to unwelcome sexual advances. For example, a supervisor promises an employee a raise if he or she will go out on a date with him or her, or tells an employee he or she will be fired if he or she doesn't sleep with him or her.[75] Quid pro quo harassment also occurs when an employee makes an evaluative decision, or provides or withholds professional opportunities based on another employee's submission to verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Quid pro quo harassment is equally unlawful whether the victim resists and suffers the threatened harm or submits and thus avoids the threatened harm. Hostile Work Environment Harassment - Harassment at work unreasonably interferes with or alters the employee's work performance, or creates a hostile, abusive or offensive work environment. In determining if a workplace environment is "hostile", the following factors are typically examined:
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Whether the conduct was verbal, physical, or both; How frequently the conduct was repeated; Whether the conduct was hostile or patently offensive; Whether the alleged harasser was a co-worker or supervisor; 1

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Whether others joined in perpetrating the harassment; and Whether the harassment was directed at more than one individual

This occurs when an employee is subjected to comments of a sexual nature, unwelcome physical contact, or offensive sexual materials as a regular part of the work environment. For the most part, a single isolated incident will not be enough to prove hostile environment harassment unless it involves extremely outrageous and egregious conduct. The courts will try to decide whether the conduct is both "serious" and "frequent." Supervisors, managers, co-workers and even customers can be responsible for creating a hostile environment. A single incident may be sufficient to establish a "quid pro quo" harassment claim, but typically a pattern of conduct is required to establish a hostile work environment. Conduct which may give rise to a sexual harassment claim includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Depending upon the circumstances, an employer may be liable for conduct of non-employees over whom it exercises some level of control, where it doesn't take appropriate corrective action to end sexually harassing conduct. Verbal statements may also constitute sexual harassment, based upon an evaluation of the totality of the circumstances. Relevant factors include:
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The nature, frequency, context, and intended target of the remarks; Whether the remarks were hostile and derogatory; Whether the alleged harasser singled out the complaining party; Whether the complaining party participated in the exchange; and The relationship between the complaining party and the alleged harasser.

To bring an action for sexual harassment, the plaintiff must establish that: 1. The plaintiff found the conduct to be hostile, abusive or offensive; and 2. A reasonable person in the position of the plaintiff would consider the conduct hostile, abusive or offensive. Please note that the plaintiff does not necessarily have to be a victim of the harassment in order to file a complaint against workplace sexual harassment.

Sexual Harassment Under the Law


Republic Act No. 7877 otherwise known as The Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 was enacted "primarily to protect and respect the dignity of workers, employees, and applicants for employment as well as students in educational institutions or training centers. This law, consisting of ten sections, provides for a clear definition of work, education or training-related sexual harassment and specifies the acts constituting sexual harassment. It likewise provides for the duties and liabilities of the employer in cases of sexual harassment, and sets penalties for violations of its provisions. It is to be noted that a victim of sexual harassment is not barred from filing a separate and independent action for damages and other relief aside from filing the charge for sexual harassment.

How to Avoid/Fight Sexual Harassment


Sexual harassment can happen to anyone but no matter what, nobody deserves to be harassed or made uncomfortable. To protect yourself, do the following:

Know your rights. You have every right to protect yourself and to prevent anything that you deem uncomfortable or inappropriate to be done to you. Check your company policies for rules regarding sexual harassment so you know exactly what you should do. Even if the company failed to include sexual harassment in their list of rules and regulations, know that as a citizen of this country, you are protected against sexual harassment under the R.A. (Republic Act) 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995.

Establish your personal rules at the start. If someone approaches you with a joke, note, picture, book or clipping, stares, gestures or touches you in ways that are inappropriate, go ahead and express your disapproval. Say no the first time around to let the person know that you do not like what he/she is doing. Do this firmly but dont yell out or over-react, though but make sure you send out a clear message. If they insist and then tease you about being uptight, simply say, Thats your opinion but you must understand I am entitled to mine. And what you just did is not something I like or will encourage. If that person is smart, they will understand.

Dont cry wolf. Malice has destroyed a lot of friendships in the past. Make sure that should you charge someone of sexual harassment, it truly IS sexual harassment and not just some misused or lame joke. If you make the mistake of falsely accusing someone of harassing you, you could either ruin their careers or make yourself the butt of jokes.

Avoid being alone with the person harassing you. Allowing yourself to spend time with a person who has expressed some inappropriate attention means youre leaving yourself open to some form of attack. As much as possible, limit the time you spend together. If you must, maintain a safe physical distance or make sure someone you trust is physically present or within earshot.

Document the incident/s. In case someone does harass you sexually, write down everything that transpired in as much detail as you can. Include the date, time and location, along with any witnesses to the event. If you like, you can even turn to technology if you dont have any witnesses to vouch for you. Use a voice recorder, a hidden camera with an audio (if you can get one) or simply use your trusty cellphone cam. Keep a copy of the video or audio in the original gadget and make a copy to keep in your computer (send it as a file in your e-mail account) or to send to a trusted friend. Instruct this friend to never, ever open or forward the file to anyone else or youll be asking for trouble. You can use these documents later in case of an investigation.

Ask for support. If you have friends or confidants at the office, tell them but ask them not to spread the word. Having people gossip about the event might be troublesome for you. Just make sure people know about it.

Have your own legal support. Investigations of sexual harassment cases are usually restricted in the office initially. You will be asked to join a private conference with the HR, the person harassing you and probably, the General Manager or owner. At some point, witnesses to the event/s will be called in but this is at the discretion of those involved. Just in case the person you have filed a complaint against has a lawyer for his defense, you can ask for the conference to be delayed at a later time, until such time when you have a lawyer of your own. If the other person has a lawyer at his or her side, you could be at a disadvantage. As a lesson, let me tell you about what happened to a former officemate of mine (lets call her Norma) who was harassed by her boss. After the event, she complained to the big boss, who owned the company. She also detailed the event to the big boss secretary, who, it turns out, had no intentions of helping her. She sat in a conference with the boss, the companys owner, his secretary and the boss lawyer. She was alone and on her own, unsure of what to do. In the end, they convinced her to drop the charges and to sign some papers, all within a span of a few hours. She never got compensated for anything and the boss who tried to take advantage of her never did apologize. Humiliated and discouraged, she quit. The point is, if things have to go through some form of process or investigation, it should be fair to all concerned. You are the aggrieved party. Being vulnerable and without any form of support like Norma did might result to you not having the justice you deserved.

The Sexual Harassment Act not only covers those who are directly involved but also those who cooperate in the commission of the violation.

How to Avoid Being Charged of Sexual Harassment


Sexual banter is normal among people and we Filipinos are especially well versed in green jokes, suggestive statements and double entendres. However, there is a limit to everything, especially in the workplace. As an employee, you are protected against sexual harassment from co-workers, visitors and yes, even your boss, no matter how high his/her rank is in the organization. So just because YOU are protected doesnt mean others arent. If youre incredibly careless and tactless about the way words 5

leave your tongue or the way you deal with others physically, you could be on the receiving end of a sexual harassment charge. Getting slapped by a sexual harassment claim can be very embarrassing and troublesome, depending on the seriousness of the situation. It could brand you for a really long time, get you kicked out of a good job, ruin your relationships with your colleagues and superiors and even cause trouble in your family. The perception of sexual harassment is relative. Your joke could be alright for other people but for others it may not. Others may think that your jokes are overboard and crossed the line already, even if it is not for you. Some people, may be too sensitive about the matter of sex and green jokes and might take you seriously. The atmosphere of the workplace sometimes becomes a factor for a complaint as well, because some offices are very strict and businesslike while others are open and tolerates or allow certain employee behaviors. The bottom line is, to avoid getting a sexual harassment case, you must be very careful with your words and actions because people have different perceptions and mind sets. A simple joke for you might be serious to them and might lead to a misunderstanding.

THE PROBLEM OF JUST WAGE


Definition of Wage or Salary
a payment usually of money for labor or services usually according to contract and on an hourly, daily, or piecework basis. Monetary remuneration computed on hourly, daily, weekly, or piece work basis. A fixed weekly or monthly wage is usually called a salary. A salary is the instrument that permits the laborer to gain accesses to the goods of the earth.

Definition of a Just Wage


The wage paid to a working person must be sufficient for the support of himself and his family. Just wage is the legitimate fruit of work. They commit grave injustice, those who refuse to pay a just wage or who do not give it on due time and in proportion to the work done

No objective standard or set of principles by which to determine a just or fair wage has been worked out for the modern period. In medieval times the problem was regarded as simple. A just wage or price for the product of the laborer was considered as that which would enable him to maintain his family according to the standards of class. His social status and standards of life were rigidly prescribed by social custom. But since, in this period the classes or status mind set has been eliminated, if not, lessened, it is down to the factors that determine the just or fair salary that an employee should receive to decide on what is just and what is not. One factor is that, if he is in need of a living wage or a family wage. An employee, working to support just himself might get a lower salary than that of an employee that has a family to feed. Another is, the educational level he attained. The higher level you have attained, the higher your salary or promotion you could get. With promotion comes a higher wage rate. Also for the skill you have. Employees with greater skills or skills that benefit much for the company are usually promoted and given higher rates of wages. But often times, these factors are taken for granted especially if your superior are interfering with your promotion. But all these factors are not absolute to gain you a just and fair wage. Sometimes there are external or internal factors in your company that might contribute to the detriment of your earnings.

Minimum Wage Rate in the Philippines


Nowadays, to avoid fraudulent acts regarding the payment of wages, the government has implemented certain minimum wage rates for different sectors and regions in the country. The following rates are provided by the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as of October 2012. AREAS Cities of Puerto Princesa and Calapan, Puerto Galera & Rest of the Region Areas with Tourist Resort Operations, and Areas with (Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Mining Operations Romblon and Palawan) New Minimum Wage New Minimum Wage Rates Rates MWR MWR Wage under Wage COLA COLA under W.O. Increase W.O. No. Increase Under Under No. IV-B-04 Basic TOTAL Basic TOTAL IV-B-04 W.O. W.O. IV-B-04 IV-B-04 1 2 252.00 P12.00 259.00 P 5.00 264.00 240.00 P12.00 247.00 P 5.00 252.00

Industry Sector

NON-AGRICULTURE

AGRICULTURE Plantation Non-Plantation

207.00 187.00

12.00 12.00

219.00 199.00

219.00 199.00

198.00 178.00

12.00 12.00

210.00 190.00

210.00 190.00

COTTAGE & MICRO ENTERPRISES

190.00

12.00

202.00

202.00

188.00

12.00

200.00

200.00

RETAIL/SERVICE 132.00 ESTABLISHMENTS Employing not more than 10 workers P247.00 (Basic) + P5.00 (COLA) P235.00 (Basic) + P5.00 (COLA)

12.00

144.00

144.00

130.00

12.00

142.00

142.00

GIFT GIVING OR BRIBERY


Definition of Bribery
Bribery is an act of giving money or gift giving that alters the behavior of the recipient. It is also defined in Blacks Law Dicitionary as the offering, giving, receiving or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty.

The bribe is the gift bestowed to influence the recipient's conduct. It may be any money, good, right in action, property, preferment, privilege, emolument, object of value, advantage, or merely a promise or undertaking to induce or influence the action, vote, or influence of a person in an official or public capacity.

Forms of Bribe
Many types of bribes exist: tip, gift, sop, perk, skim, favor, discount, waived fee/ticket, free food, free ad, free trip, free tickets, sweetheart deal, kickback/payback, funding, inflated sale of an object or property, lucrative contract, donation, campaign contribution, fund raiser, sponsorship/backing, higher paying job, stock options, secret commission, or promotion (rise of position/rank). Bribery may also take the form of a secret commission, a profit made by an agent, in the course of his employment, without the knowledge of his principal. Bribery also occurs inside the government, pharmaceutical companies, between politicians, businesses and even sports. In the government, before, in some countries, bribes are considered tax-deductible payments. However, in 1996, in an effort to discourage bribery, the OECD Council recommended that member countries cease to allow the tax-deductibility of bribes to foreign officials. This was followed by the signing of the Anti-Bribery Convention. Pharmaceutical corporations may seek to reward through gifts doctors for heavy prescription of their drugs. The American Medical Association has published ethical guidelines for gifts from industry, which include the tenet (principle) that physicians should not accept a gift if they are given in relation to the physicians prescribing practices. Doubtful cases include grants for traveling to medical conventions that double as tourist trips.

Dentists often receive samples of home dental care products such as toothpaste, which are of negligible value; somewhat ironically, dentists in a television commercial will often state that they get these samples but pay to use the sponsor's product. Politicians receive campaign contributions and other payoffs from powerful corporations, organizations or individuals in return for making choices in the interests of those parties, or in anticipation of favorable policy. Employees, managers, or salespeople of a business may offer money or gifts to a potential client in exchange for business. For example, in 2006, German prosecutors conducted a wide-ranging investigation of Siemens AG to determine if Siemens employees paid bribes in exchange for business. In some cases where the system of law is not well-implemented, bribes may be a way for companies to continue their businesses. In the case, for example, custom officials may harass a certain firm or production plant, officially stating they are checking for irregularities, halting production or stalling other normal activities of a firm. The disruption may cause losses to the firm that exceed the amount of money to pay off the official. Bribing the officials is a common way to deal with this issue in countries where there exists no firm system of reporting these semi-illegal activities. A third party, known as a White Glove, may be involved to act as a clean middleman. Referees and scoring judges may be offered money, gifts, or other compensation to guarantee a specific outcome in an athletic or other sports competition. A well-known example of this manner of bribery in sport would be the 2002 Olympic Winter Games figure skating scandal, where the French judge in the pairs competition voted for the Russian skaters in order to secure an advantage for the French skaters in the ice dancing competition. Additionally, bribes may be offered by cities in order to secure athletic franchises, or even competitions, as happened with the 2002 Winter Olympics. It is common practice for cities to "bid" against each other with stadiums, tax benefits, and licensing deals to secure or keep professional sports franchises. Athletes themselves can be paid to under-perform, generally so that a gambler or gambling syndicate can secure a winning bet. A classic example of this was the 1919 World Series, better known as the Black Sox Scandal.

Bribery Under the Law


Presidential Decree No. 749, which states that Granting immunity from prosecution to givers of bribes and other gifts and their accomplices in bribery and other graft cases against public officers. Whereas, public office is a public trust, public officers are but servants of the people, whom they must serve with utmost fidelity and integrity;

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Whereas, it has heretofore been virtually impossible to secure the conviction and removal of dishonest public servants owing to the lack of witnesses, bribe or gift givers being always reluctant to testify against the corrupt for fear of being indicted and convicted themselves of bribery and corruption; Whereas, it is better by far and more socially desirable, as well as just, that the bribe or gift giver be granted immunity from prosecution so that he may freely testify as to the official corruption, than that the official who receives the bribe or gift should be allowed to go free, insolently remaining in public office, and continuing with his nefarious and corrupt practices, to the great detriment of the public service and the public interest.chanrobles virtual law library Now, therefore, I, Ferdinand E. Marcos, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers in me vested by the Constitution, do hereby decree and order that: Section 1. Any person who voluntarily gives information about any violation of Articles 210, 211, and 212 of the Revised Penal Code; Republic Act Numbered Three Thousand Nineteen, as amended; Section 345 of the Internal Revenue Code and Section 3604 of the Tariff and Customs Code and other provisions of the said Codes penalizing abuse or dishonesty on the part of the public officials concerned; and other laws, rules and regulations punishing acts of graft, corruption and other forms of official abuse; and who willingly testifies against any public official or employee for such violation shall be exempt from prosecution or punishment for the offense with reference to which his information and testimony were given, and may plead or prove the giving of such prosecution: Provided, that this immunity may be enjoyed even in cases where the information and testimony are given against a person who is not a public official but who is a principal, or accomplice, or accessory in the commission of any of the abovementioned violations; Provided, further, that this immunity may be enjoyed by such informant or witness notwithstanding that he offered or gave the bribe or gift to the public official or his accomplice for such gift or bribe-giving; and, Provided, finally, that the following conditions concur: 1. The information must refer to consummated violations of any of the above-mentioned provisions of law, rules and regulation;

2. The information and testimony are necessary for the conviction of the accused public officer.

3. Such information and testimony are not yet in the possession of the State;

4. Such information and testimony can be corroborated on its material points; and 5. The informant or witness has not been previously convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, Sec. 2. The immunity granted hereunder shall not attach should it turn out subsequently that the information and/or testimony is false and malicious or made only for the purpose of harassing, molesting or in any way prejudicing the public officer so denounced shall be entitled to any action, civil or criminal, against said informant or witness. 11

Sec. 3. All preliminary investigations conducted by a prosecuting fiscal, judge or committee, and all proceedings undertaken in connection therewith, shall be strictly confidential or private in order to protect the reputation of the official under investigation in the event that the report proves to be unfounded or no prima facie case is established. Sec. 4. All acts, decrees and rules and regulations inconsistent with the provisions of this Decree are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. Sec. 5. This Decree shall take effect immediately.

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