Who sits on a Local Complaints Committee?

The Local Complaints Committee has:

  • A woman Chairperson, a woman in the field of social work committed to the cause of women
  • A woman who is working in the block, taluka, tehsil, ward or municipality.
  • Two members, who are from NGOs/associations/persons committed to the cause of women or are familiar with issues of sexual harassment
    • At least one of them should be a woman
    • At least one of them must have a background of law or legal language
  • An Ex-Officio member, who is an officer dealing with social welfare or women and child development in the district

Is gender-based discrimination the same as sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is a form of gender-based discrimination. Not all gender-based discrimination at a workplace is sexual harassment. To understand if your case of gender-based discrimination is sexual harassment please look at the explanations above. For more information, please contact a lawyer.

Can a member of the Internal Complaints Committee, which has been constituted to deal with sexual harassment at the workplace, be fired?

A member of the Internal Complaints Committee has to be removed from office if they:

  • Give any information about a sexual harassment case to the public
  • Have been convicted of a crime or are currently the subject of an inquiry themselves
  • Are found guilty in a disciplinary proceeding, or have disciplinary proceedings pending against them
  • Have abused their position in any way

After a member is fired from the committee, the employer will have to find a new member to replace them.

What sort of offices are responsible for preventing sexual harassment?

If you are responsible for the management, supervision, and control of the workplace then you will be understood as an employer under the law. This means you must work to prevent sexual harassment. Offices and employers can include1:

  • Government offices, where an employer is usually the head of department. Sometimes, the government may decide that another person will be considered as the ’employer.’
  • Private offices, where an employer is any person who manages and is in charge of the office. This includes the board or committee making policies and putting them in place.
  • Any office, where a person is an employer according to their contract.

In a home, where the person or the house which hires a domestic worker. The type of the work and the number of workers do not matter.

  1. Section 2(g), The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.[]