Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 and Rules (2013) (hereinafter collectively referred to as "POSH laws") aim at imposing the Employers with the responsibility to ensure a safe working environment to women at their workplace.
Every employer/ establishment employing ten or more employees is required to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee (hereinafter referred to as the "ICC") in order to provide a suitable redressal mechanism to the women aggrieved by the incident of sexual harassment.
Appointment of ICC Members
The ICC will be composed of the following members: nominated by the Employer namely: ·-·
a. 1 Presiding officer who shall be employed at a senior level at workplace from amongst the employees, if not available then nominated from other office/ units/ department/ workplace of the same employer;
b. 2 Members from amongst employees preferably committed to the cause of women or who have had experience in social work or have legal knowledge;
c. 1 Outside counsel i.e. member from amongst non-governmental organizations or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment.
As per the POSH laws, at least one-half of the total members of the ICC nominated shall be women. It has been prescribed that the Presiding Officer and every Member of the Internal Committee shall hold office for such period not exceeding 3 years, from the date of their nomination as may be specified by the employer.
Disqualification of the ICC Members
Presiding Officer or Member, as the case may be, shall be removed from the ICC in case he/ she:
i. Breaches the obligation of maintaining confidentiality of the inquiry processing pertaining to sexual harassment against the aggrieved woman;
ii. has been convicted for an offence or an inquiry into an offeree under any law for the time being in force is, pending against him/ her;
iii. has been found guilty in any disciplinary proceedings or a disciplinary proceeding is pending against him/her; OR
iv. has so abused his/ her position as to render his continuance in office prejudicial to the public interest.
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