Effects Of Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

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The Employment Act 1955 however only has the base standards for working environments, it doesn’t prohibit sexual discrimination or harassment in the workplace On the other hand, the Industrial Relations Department only treats cases on unfair dismissal by the employer under the Industrial Relation Act 1967 and it does not render any legal assistance to victims of sexual harassment.

There is no legislation currently governing sexual harassment cases at the workplace. According to Jabatan Tenaga Kerja (The Labour Department), there were only 22 complaints of sexual harassment in 2009. It is believed that a large number of incidents of harassment has gone unreported due to fear of losing one’s job or reputation. The absence of strong legal protection
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A survey among 164 women done in the 1990s showed that 53 per cent of the women interviewed faced sexual harassment on one or more occasions (Marican, Sabitha. The Perception of Sexual Harassment Among Public Administrators at the Workplace. School of Social Development, Universiti Utara Malaysia, 1999.). This eventually lead to the Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR) formulating a Code of Practice on the Prevention and Eradication of Sexual Harassment in 1999. However, the Code of Practice is not without its weaknesses because even though the aim is to regulate conduct between employers and employees, it is not enforced by the law. It is merely a guideline which companies may choose to adhere by or not. Additionally, the Malaysian Penal Code is ill equipped in providing aid to victims of sexual harassment as the burden of proof falls falls in the victim’s hands in order for any case to be…show more content…
The victim having to face the challenge of providing sufficient evidence to support their allegations is the main reason for low amount of cases reported. In order to see any justice being done, the victim will be forced to speak publicly about the harassment, leaving her open to judgments by her colleagues and discriminated against by supervisors. On top of that, sexual harassment cases could take years and are very costly and not all sexual harassment perpetrators are brought to justice as the Section 509 of the Penal Code only focuses more on the physical aspects of sexual harassment. All these factors leave the victims of sexual harassment with no other option than to stay silent to the matter, whether it be the fear of being judge or the possibility of losing their

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