Victims must lodge reports of sexual harassment

PETALING JAYA: She was a 19-year-old trainee with a TV station who ended up being a victim of sexual harassment.

While travelling in a company car for an assignment with an executive broadcast journalist, she found the man laying his head on her lap despite her protest.

He even forced her to put her hands on his chest. Feeling humiliated, she cried.

He was also said to have made suckling sounds at her and asked to bite her breasts.

The girl then complained to her supervisor. The man denied the allegations.

A domestic inquiry was held and the panel found him guilty of misconduct and he was dismissed.

Her case was one of the few that made it to court while many victims are believed to have suffered in silence.

An Industrial Court found she had no reason to frame him.

The court ruled that his explanation of being tired and sleepy after a trip to a northern state two days earlier could not justify his action of lying on the lap of a female colleague.

“This court is of the view that with or without consent, the claimant’s act in the course of their job assignment is outrageous, humiliating, improper, unbecoming and derogatory to the standard of behaviour as an employee towards another fellow employee. It’s an act of sexual harassment totally unacceptable in any management,” the court held.

In another case, a hotel chef unzipped his trousers in front of a kitchen helper.

He also touched and caressed her buttocks on several occasions.

She was afraid to do anything as she was only a contract worker.

He also stuck his tongue at her in a lewd and suggestive manner.

He was found guilty of the charges and sacked.

The Industrial Court held that there was no reason not to believe that the kitchen helper was scared of him and dismissed the chef’s claim for unjust dismissal.

In yet another case, a male storehand had been squatting and recording data of carton boxes bound for shipment when a security guard came up to him suddenly and groped him.

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