After Telegu actress Sri Reddy accused Sekhar Kammula of sexual harassment alleging of casting couch, created a storm in the Tollywood industry. Kammula used social media to lash out at Sri Reddy using Twitter and Facebook and threatened to take a legal action if she does not apologize and take her words back. Sri Reddy in a Facebook Live replied that she is not going to bow before the money power.
Sri Reddy in her first post did not take any name directly just said that she has been sexually abused by a producer’s son, who used to harass several women. In her later post, she hinted towards Sekhar Kammula. She accused that she has been asked to send disrobed photos, which she has evidence that she has sent them too. She allegedly claimed that Telegu actresses are being sexually exploited in the name of getting a chance in a movie. She also claimed that she has been offered crores by MAA to be silent regarding the issue, but she decided to speak up.
Sexual harassment at workplace is neither an acceptable nor a petty matter, Government has been always strict regarding this issue, especially after Vishakha Case, and codified strict laws to make workplaces safer place for women. In 2012, the Parliament passed the Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill 2012. The highlights of the Act are as follows:
- It lays down mechanism for the purpose of redressal of complaints - there should be an Internal Complaints Committee, with the same power of a civil court. One of the members of ICC must have a legal background, and one must be from an NGO working for women. They should not be additional paid employees of ICC.
- It provides protection against malicious and false complaints - it enables on being proved that the complaint is false, the committee can take action against the accuser or penalize her
- Every employer is required to establish an ICC at every branch consisting of ten or more employees. Every District Officer is directed to establish a Local Complaints Committee at every district and block level.
- If the employers fail to comply with the provisions of the Bill, then a fine amounting to INR 50000 can be imposed on them. Further violation will result in heavier fines and cancellation of licenses or registration to continue the business or profession.
- This is available to all the employees, contractual, permanent, and even domestic workers as well.
To know more about your employee rights, consult the employment lawyers through MyAdvo, download MyAdvo App on your phone.
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