Have you been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace?

The issue of sexual harassment in the workplace is one that is both sensitive and stressful for an employee if he or she has been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace.   Your rights are clear under the Employment Equality Acts 1998 – 2011, the Equal Treatment Directive 2002/73/EC and the Equal Treatment Directive 2006/54/EC in relation to sexual harassment.

If you feel that you have been a victim of Sexual Harassment in the workplace, our team of experienced personal law solicitors at Coleman Legal Partners can discuss your case in complete confidence and assist you in vindicating your rights.

Contact us today on 01-5313800 or email info@colemanlegalpartners.ie to see how we can help.

What is the legal definition of Sexual Harassment?

The Employment Equality Acts 1998-2011

The Employment Equality Acts 1998-2011 define harassment as “unwanted conduct” which is related to any of the 9 discriminatory grounds above. Sexual harassment is any form of “unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature”. In both cases it is defined as conduct which “has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person” and it is prohibited under the Acts.

“(3) For the purposes of this Act—

(a) any act of physical intimacy by B towards A,

(b) any request by B for sexual favours from A, or

(c) any other act or conduct of B (including, without prejudice to the generality, spoken words, gestures or the production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other material),

shall constitute sexual harassment of A by B if the act, request or conduct is unwelcome to A and could reasonably be regarded as sexually, or otherwise on the gender ground, offensive, humiliating or intimidating to A.”

The “unwanted conduct” includes spoken words, gestures or the production and display of written words, pictures and other material. This includes offensive gestures or facial expressions, unwelcome and offensive calendars, screen-savers, e-mails and any other offensive material.

The Equal Treatment Directive 2002/73/EC and  Equal Treatment Directive 2006/54/EC

Definitions of sexual harassment in the Workplace — the new Directive adds to Article 2(2) of Directive 76/207/EEC by providing definitions of ‘‘harassment’’ and ‘‘sexual harassment.’’ Harassment and sexual harassment are recognised as a form of discrimination on the grounds of sex and thus are contrary to the principle of equal treatment between men and women. ‘‘Harassment’’ is defined as ‘‘where an unwanted conduct related to the sex of a person occurs with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.’’ ‘

‘Sexual harassment’’ is defined as ‘‘where any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature occurs, with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.’’

With reference to the prevention of sexual harassment; Article 2(5) of Directive 2002/ 73/ EC specifies: ‘‘Member States shall encourage, in accordance with national law, collective agreements or practice, employers and those responsible for access to vocational training to take measures to prevent all forms of discrimination r access to vocational training to take measures to prevent all forms of discrimination on grounds of sex, in particular harassment and sexual harassment at the workplace.’’

Source: http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/SexualHrrsmtRpt.pdf/Files/SexualHrrsmtRpt.pdf

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