This act came into force on 9 December 2013. The history of this lies back to Vishakha case. In 1997 a female worker, named Vishakha was harassed at workplace which led to formulation of Vishakha guidelines. This act was formulated to supersede Vishakha guidelines.
This act provides with provisions for sexual harassment of women at workplace. It provides safety and protection to female workers at workplace.
It does not cover males who are harassed at workplace under its purview. It only considers the female workers. The act provides for formation of two committees namely:
1. Internal complaints committee
2. Local complaints committee
Internal Complaints Committee:
1. Every employer is required to constitute a committee named as internal complaints committee by giving an order in writing. The committee shall comprise of the following members:
2. a presiding officer who shall be a women engaged at senior level at the workplace from amongst the employees.
3. not less than two Members from amongst employees preferably committed to the cause of women or who had experience in social work or have legal knowledge;
4. one member from amongst non-governmental organisations or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment.
Note: Atleast half of the Members so nominated shall be women.
1. The Presiding Officer and every Member of the Internal Committee shall hold office for a period, not exceeding three years, from the date of their nomination as may be specified by the employer.
2. The Member appointed from amongst the non-governmental organisations or associations shall be paid such fees or allowances for holding the proceedings of the Internal Committee, by the employer, as may be prescribed.
3. Where the Presiding Officer or any Member of the Internal Committee,- –
Such officer or member shall be removed from the Committee and the vacancy so created or any casual vacancy shall be filled by fresh nomination in accordance with the provisions of this section.
Local Complaints Committee:
For every district, the appropriate government may notify a District Magistrate or Additional District Magistrate or the Collector or Deputy Collector as a District Officer
Constitution and jurisdiction of Local Complaints Committee:
1. Every District Officer shall constitute in the district concerned, a committee to be called as “Local Complaints Committee” to receive complaints of sexual harassment from organizations where the Internal Complaints Committee has not been constituted due to having less than ten workers or if the complaint is against the employer himself.
2. The District Officer shall designate one nodal officer in every block, taluka and tehsil in rural or tribal area and ward or municipality in the urban area, to receive complaints and forward the same to the concerned Local Complaints Committee within a period of seven days.
Note: The jurisdiction of the Local Complaints Committee shall extend to the areas of the district where it is constituted.
Composition, tenure and other terms and conditions of Local Complaints Committee:
1. The Local Complaints Committee shall consist of the following to be appointed by the District Officer:
2. a Chairperson from amongst the eminent women in the field of social work and committed to the cause of women;
3. one Member from amongst the women working in block, taluka or tehsil or ward or municipality in the district;
4. two Members, of whom at least one shall be a woman, from amongst such non-governmental organisations or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment, which may be prescribed:
Note: Atleast one of the nominees should, preferably, have a background in law or legal knowledge:
Note: Atleast one of the nominees shall be a woman belonging to the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes or the Other Backward Classes or minority community notified by the Central Government, from time to time;
1. the concerned officer dealing with the social welfare or women and child development in the district, shall be a member ex officio.
2. The Chairperson and every Member of the Local Committee shall hold office for a period, not exceeding three years, from the date of their appointment
3. Where the Chairperson or any Member of the Local Complaints Committee- —
4. contravenes the provisions of section 16; or
5. has been convicted for an offence or an inquiry into an offence under any law for the time being in force is pending against him; or
6. has been found guilty in any disciplinary proceedings or a disciplinary proceeding is pending against him; or
7. has so abused his position as to render his continuance in office prejudicial to the public interest.
Such Chairperson or Member, shall be removed from the Committee and the vacancy so create or any casual vacancy shall be filled by fresh nomination in accordance with the provisions of this section.