Friday, October 10, 2008

Email Question: Sexual Harassment

note: more explanation bellow.
image taken from


I am sorry for long delay.

I wish I could answer a bit more comprehensive but time is not permitting. However, civil suit is one of the option, you should seriously consider reporting the police (lodge a police report). It was a criminal act punishable under sexual harassment misconduct or penal code. Do not compromise with these immoral act. You must protect your wife dignity. May Allah guide you and give you strength. For further reading please download the attachment.

Yours faithfully,
Kamarul Irzuan Bin Busu Piah
Advocate & Solicitor

Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2008 05:32:32 -0700
From: (deleted)
Subject: Legal Advice (Sexual Harrasment)

Dear Mr Kamarul Irzuan,
I am a Malay goevrnment servant that need your professional advice on the predicament myself and wife is facing. I got your blog from one of my yahoo groups.
The situation is as follow:
1. Last May 2008, my wife made a complaint to her company authority of continuos sexual harrasment by a co-worker she encountered. Ironically the company only took a day to investigate the complaint and the accused admitted his actions.
2. The company then only sent a REPRIMAND instruction to the accused without any copy to my wife but we managed to secure a copy through some source. The company also told my wife not to break this incident to anyone, not even me.
3. A couple month later the accused was seen to be rewarded when he was given a pay rise on the pretext of pay restructure. But the restructure only apply to him. He accused is also the relative of the Southern Regional Manager of the firm and the manager is seen to be siding with him.
4. Feeling betrayed by the company, she consulted me on the possible action can be taken a few days ago. Therefore, I sincerely requested your professional advice on how we can go about with this case.
5. For your information, the company she is working is relatively a big company and one of the subsidiary of (deleted) with branches abroad. She is also stationed in (deleted). We also managed to secure the relevant document that was deprived from her by her company and still working with them as we really need the additional income. I am a government servant working as an (deleted).
6. We know that one of the possible action is through civil suit. However we are unable to pay the expected high legal fee as our commitment is relatively tight especially to make end meets with three adopted children, my inlaw and my mother under my responsibility.
7. Please advice us on the possible action can be taken in order to restore her dignity after being betrayed by the authority of the company.

Further explanation:-

it is crucial to understand the meaning of sexual harassment and as relate by the Sexual Harassment Code;

"...sexual harassment means:

Any unwanted conduct of a sexual nature having the effect of verbal, non-verbal, visual, psychological or physical harassment:

(i) that might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived by the recipient as placing a condition of a sexual nature on her/his employment;


(ii) that might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived by the recipient as an offence or humiliation, or a threat to her/his well-being, but has no direct link to her/his employment.

5. Based on the definition in article 4 above, sexual harassment may be divided into two categories, namely sexual coercion and sexual annoyance.

(i) Sexual coercion is sexual harassment that results in some direct consequence to the victim's employment. An example of sexual harassment of this coercive kind is where a superior, who has the power over salary and promotion, attempts to coerce a subordinate to grant sexual favours. If the subordinate accedes to the superior's sexual solicitation, job benefits will follow. Conversely, if the subordinate refuses, job benefits are denied.

(ii) Sexual annoyance, the second type of sexual harassment, is sexually-related conduct that is offensive, hostile or intimidating to the recipient, but nonetheless has no direct link to any job benefit. However, the annoying conduct creates a bothersome working environment which the recipient has to tolerate in order to continue working. A sexual harassment by an employee against a co-employee falls into this category. Similarly, harassment by a company's client against an employee also falls into this category.

6. Within the context of this Code, sexual harassment in the workplace includes any employment-related sexual harassment occurring outside the workplace as a result of employment responsibilities or employment relationships. Situations under which such employment-related sexual harassment may take place includes, but is not limited to:

(i) at work-related social functions;

(ii) in the course of work assignments outside the workplace;

(iii) at work-related conferences or training sessions;

(iv) during work-related travel;

(v) over the phone; and

(vi) through electronic media.

7. It is essential to emphasize that sexual harassment refers to sexual conduct which is unwanted and unwelcome to the recipient. It is also a sexual conduct which is imposed on and unsolicited or unreciprocated by the recipient."

and further the code explains the form of sexual harassment:-

"8. Sexual harassment encompasses various conducts of a sexual nature which can manifest themselves in five possible forms, namely:

(i) verbal harassment:

e.g. offensive or suggestive remarks, comments, jokes, jesting, kidding, sounds, questioning.

(ii) non-verbal/gestural harassment;

e.g. leering or ogling with suggestive overtones, licking lips or holding or eating food provocatively, hand signal or sign language denoting sexual activity, persistent flirting.

(iii) visual harassment:

e.g. showing pornographic materials, drawing sex-based sketches or writing sex-based letters, sexual exposure.

(iv) psychological harassment:

e.g. repeated unwanted social invitations, relentless proposals for dates or physical intimacy.

(v) physical harassment:

e.g. inappropriate touching, patting, pinching, stroking, brushing up against the body, hugging, kissing, fondling, sexual assault."

1 comment:

  1. interesting post. what are the court's view on this matter? any successful cases in Malaysia?