INTELEHEALTH’S PREVENTION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT, SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE POLICY
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Intelehealth is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to providing a diverse, safe, and non-discriminatory work environment. Furthermore, Intelehealth is committed to providing humanitarian assistance and services in a safe and professional manner, free from sexual exploitation and abuse. Intelehealth prohibits all forms of harassment in the workplace and is committed to maintaining a work environment free from harassing behavior and conduct including verbal, physical, and visual forms of threats and intimidation. All employees are expected to be sensitive to and respectful of their co-workers and others with whom they come into contact while representing Intelehealth. Conduct or behavior amounting to sexual harassment, exploitation, or abuse, is prohibited both on- and off-duty in the workplace and while serving various communities as a part of Intelehealth’s operations. Intelehealth adopts a zero-tolerance policy towards such conduct or behavior and shall not condone or permit it under any circumstance. Anyone found to have engaged in such conduct will be subject to disciplinary measures up to and including termination
This Policy aims at establishing a set of procedures to identify, prevent, and combat sexual harassment, exploitation, and abuse; devise a complaint resolution policy and open, safe and accessible incident reporting system; and lay out the process for resolving complaints in a safe, confidential, fair, and timely manner.
This Policy applies to all officers, directors, employees, agents, and other representatives of Intelehealth or any of its directly or indirectly majority owned or controlled subsidiaries or affiliates as the case may be. All are expected to uphold the highest standards of personal and professional conduct at all times, both on-and off-duty, and must refrain from any action or conduct prohibited by this Policy. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any employee who violates this Policy. Based on the seriousness of the offense, disciplinary action may include verbal or written reprimand, suspension, or termination of employment, as well as the filing of a civil suit or referral to local criminal authorities, as appropriate.
For the purpose of this Policy, “employee” or “employees” shall mean any person employed or engaged in any work, directly or indirectly, for Intelehealth, whether for remuneration or not, including consultants, retainers, trainees, apprentices, contract workers, volunteers, and probationers.
For the purposes of this policy the term “beneficiary” or “beneficiaries” shall mean any person receiving or poised to receive humanitarian assistance or services from Intelehealth, including members of the community in which such beneficiaries are located.
This Policy forms an integral part of all employment, agency and third-party contracts. Concerned officers or representatives of Intelehealth while entering into these contracts, must provide a copy of this Policy as amended from time to time, and a breach of any term herein shall constitute a breach of the concerned contract, entitling Intelehealth to take appropriate action under applicable law, contract and equity.
The obligations and rights for employees as provided in this Policy shall apply mutatis mutandis to Intelehealth contracting parties, and representatives, and the Policy will be read and interpreted accordingly.
Sexual harassment means a form of sex discrimination. It includes harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and the status of being transgender. Sexual harassment also includes any unwelcome conduct that is either of a sexual nature or that is directed at an individual because of that individual’s gender or sexual identity when:
Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment, even if the complaining individual is not the intended target of the sexual harassment;
Such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment; or
Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an individual’s employment.
Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to the following:
Gender-related comments about a person’s physical characteristics or mannerisms;
Offensive physical actions, contact, gestures;
Paternalism based on gender which a person feels undermines his/her/their self-respect or position of responsibility or authority;
Unwelcome physical contact and advances (for example, brushing up against someone or dancing in an offensive or sexual manner);
Offensive and sexual written or spoken communication, like slurs, jokes, songs, posters, or cartoons, making sexually colored remarks, and any other unwelcome verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature;
Leering or inappropriate staring;
Demands for dates or sexual favors;
Showing or viewing pornography in any form;
Sexual orientation or gender-related verbal abuse, threats, or taunting;
Expectations, requests, demands, or pressure for sexual favors in return for preferential treatment or to avoid negative treatment;
Any act which is sexually colored, directly or indirectly, where the other person has reasonable grounds to believe that their objection would disadvantage them in connection with their employment, including recruiting or promotion, or when it creates a hostile working environment;
Quid pro quo (defined below); and
Any other unwelcome physical, verbal, or non-verbal behavior/conduct of sexual nature.
Sexual harassment is a particularly egregious form of harassment and shall never be tolerated at Intelehealth. Sexual harassment at work seriously undermines the dignity of the victim, and, thus, has the potential of polluting the work environment. Such conduct is, therefore, wholly incompatible and irreconcilable with Intelehealth’ business culture and ethos, as Intelehealth is committed to providing a work environment free of harassment, discrimination, intimidation, and insult.
Intelehealth will not tolerate verbal or physical conduct that harasses, disrupts, or interferes with another employee’s work performance, or that creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile work environment.
Furthermore, Intelehealth recognizes that sexual exploitation and abuse violate universally recognized international legal norms and standards and are unacceptable behaviors and prohibited conduct for all humanitarian workers, including Intelehealth employees.
Quid pro quo means seeking sexual favors or advances in exchange for work benefits. It occurs when consent to sexual behavior or speech is made a condition for employment terms and working conditions or when refusal to comply with a sexual favor or advance is met with retaliatory action such as dismissal, demotion, difficult work conditions, etc. Quid pro quo is a common form of sexual harassment, and all Intelehealth employees are strictly prohibited from engaging in such conduct. Without prejudice to generality of the definition, Quid pro quo circumstances shall include the following:
Implied or explicit promises of preferential treatment in employment;
Implied or explicit threats of detrimental treatment in employment;
Implied or explicit threats about one’s present or future employment status;
Interference with one’s work or creating an intimidating, offensive, or hostile work environment; or
Humiliating treatment likely to affect one’s health or safety.
Sexual exploitation means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially, or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. This term includes the implied or explicit conditioning of the provision of humanitarian assistance, services, or benefits on the sexual exploitation of a beneficiary or another person.
Sexual abuse means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. Unequal or coercive conditions shall indicate that there is a lack of free consent for the action in question.
2. Core Principles
In order to protect the most vulnerable populations, particularly children with whom Intelehealth employees deal (if any), and to ensure the integrity of Intelehealth activities, the following 7 Core Principles are to be strictly followed by Intelehealth employees both on- and off-duty:
Sexual harassment while performing Intelehealth activities, either in the workplace or otherwise, and even sexual harassment outside of Intelehealth’s activities, is prohibited and is a criminal offence.
Sexual exploitation and abuse by Intelehealth employees and related personnel constitute acts of gross misconduct and are therefore grounds for termination of employment, whether such conduct occurred on- or off-duty.
Sexual activity with children is prohibited regardless of the age of majority or age of consent in regions where Intelehealth works. Mistaken belief regarding the age of a child is not a defense.
Exchange of money, employment, goods, or services for sex, including sexual favors or other forms of humiliating, degrading, or exploitative behavior is prohibited.
Any sexual relationship between Intelehealth employees or related personnel and beneficiaries of assistance or other vulnerable members of the local community that involves improper use of rank or position is prohibited.
Where an Intelehealth employee or related personnel develops concerns or suspicions regarding sexual abuse or exploitation by a fellow employee, whether in the same organization or not, he or she must report such concerns via established reporting mechanisms.
All Intelehealth employees and related personnel are obliged to create and maintain an environment which prevents sexual exploitation and abuse and promotes the implementation of this policy. Managers at all levels have particular responsibilities to support and develop systems which maintain this environment.
3. How to immediately deal with sexual harassment?
Employees should talk to the person they believe is sexually harassing them and tell them to STOP! If you do so in writing, keep a copy of your communication. If you do so orally, make a note of it. Documenting sexual harassment is important for use as evidence in a case or complaint. Employees are advised to photograph or keep copies of any offensive material at the workplace and note the detailed information on instances of sexual harassment such as the dates, conversation, frequency of offensive encounters, etc.
4. Prevention and training
Applicant Screening: Intelehealth shall maintain procedures for systematically vetting and screening all applicants for employment (including volunteers any other position falling under the definition of “employee” above) with Intelehealth. This process shall include background and reference checks. This process shall also include a request for confirmation from the applicant that they have no record of past allegations for sexual harassment, exploitation, or abuse, whether in a civil or criminal proceeding or in connection with previous employment or volunteer work.
Training: Intelehealth employees shall undergo a comprehensive training, at hire and annually thereafter, regarding sexual harassment, exploitation, and abuse. Such training shall be conducted pursuant to a formal, documented training package. Training materials shall be provided to employees in their primary language.
5. Reporting mechanism
Overview: If an employee or beneficiary believes that he or she has been subjected to, or becomes aware of, any conduct in violation of this Policy by another employee or a contracting party as the case may be, the aggrieved person has the responsibility of promptly reporting the incident to the Intelehealth Internal Committee (“IC”) as defined below. If you feel that yours, a co-worker’s, or a beneficiary’s rights under this Policy have been violated, you have an obligation to contact your supervisor, your manager, Human Resources, or the IC. Any of these designated persons receiving such a complaint must make a record of the complaint in writing, including the names of the individuals involved, details, dates, names of witnesses to the incident(s), and times. Such records shall be kept confidential with limited exceptions as outlined below in Section 8.
All supervisors, managers, or HR team members who receive a complaint or otherwise become aware of information concerning actual or suspected sexual harassment, exploitation, or abuse are required to report such suspected conduct immediately to Human Resources. In addition to being subject to disciplinary action if they are engaged in such conduct themselves, supervisors, managers, and HR team members will be subject to disciplinary action for failing to report suspected sexual harassment, exploitation, or abuse or otherwise allowing such conduct to continue without repercussion.
All complaints shall receive a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation. Intelehealth shall take immediate and appropriate corrective action, up to and including termination from employment, when it determines a violation has occurred. Intelehealth’s investigative process does not in any way affect any person’s decision to seek remedial action through a court of law. Records of the investigative process shall remain confidential except as necessary to provide due and fair process to the accused individual and to comply with applicable laws and judicial inquiries. See Section 8 of this Policy for more information.
Retaliation: Intelehealth strictly prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports sexual harassment, exploitation, or abuse in good faith, as well as anyone who, reasonably believing that such conduct has in fact occurred, participates in an investigation or provides information regarding a claim, incident, or allegation.
Retaliation includes doing any of the following based on the fact that an individual has reported, complained, participated in an investigation, or provided information regarding sexual harassment, exploitation, or abuse:
Taking any adverse employment action against the individual;
Denying services to a beneficiary or beneficiaries on the basis of a report or complaint by the beneficiary or any other person; or
Any other action that would prevent or discourage an employee or beneficiary from coming forward to make report or complaint regarding sexual harassment, exploitation, or abuse.
Retaliation is a serious violation of this Policy and will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
6. The Intelehealth Internal Committee
IC shall answer and investigate any complaints of sexual harassment. IC shall be comprised of members nominated by Intelehealth, namely:
1 woman employee at a senior level in Intelehealth as the Chairperson; in the event, a senior level woman employee is not available for nomination as the Chairperson, any senior level woman employee within any other Intelehealth offices or connected entities can be nominated as the chairperson of IC;
At least 2 employees preferably committed to the cause of women, or who have had experience in social work, or have legal knowledge; and
1 member from amongst non-government organizations or, associations committed to the cause of women, or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment.
The third member appointed from amongst non-governmental organizations or associations, or who is familiar with the issues, shall be paid fees or allowances for participating in the proceedings and meetings of the IC as may be determined by Intelehealth or as per applicable law.
In addition to the abovementioned composition of IC, other employees and contact officers may be appointed by IC for the purpose of administrating the Policy.
Notwithstanding anything else, it shall be ensured that at least ½ of the members of the IC are women.
The members of IC shall hold office for a maximum of 3 years from the date of their nomination. The nominated members shall be considered eligible for re-nomination as Intelehealth deems fit subject to requirements under applicable law. Any vacancy created in the IC shall be filled by fresh nomination or re-nomination from past members as soon as possible in accordance with the Policy. Any member of IC may be removed, and the vacancy so created may be filled by Intelehealth if he/she/they:
Contravenes a provision of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 and the rules made thereunder (as amended from time to time) (“Act”), as well as other applicable laws;
Has been convicted or, any inquiry got an offence under any applicable law is pending against him/her;
Has been found guilty or proceedings against him/her in any court of law;
Has abused his/her position as to render his/her continuance in office prejudicial to public interest; or
Is sick, or incapacitated, or for any other reason unable to perform his/her duties as member of IC.
At present, Intelehealth shall constitute IC with the following persons for a 3-year term:
Karishma Arora, Chairperson | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, +91 86576 21331
Rekha Pai, Member | email@example.com
Shyam Kaluve, Member | firstname.lastname@example.org
Adler Archer, Member | email@example.com
Role of IC: Subject to this Policy and the Act, the IC is responsible for the following:
Ensuring implementation of the Policy and the Act;
Ensuring that HR conducts workshops to raise awareness against sexual harassment in accordance with the Act;
Investigating and determining from the facts whether sexual harassment took place as complained of;
Investigating and determining from the facts any allegation of victimization or retaliation against an aggrieved employee for reporting a possible case of sexual harassment;
Offering and presiding conciliation if both the aggrieved employee and the accused person agree to it;
Recommending actions for Intelehealth to implement in case it believes sexual harassment took place;
Recommending penalties against the accused person if it is determined that sexual harassment occurred;
Recommending compensation, appropriate assistance, and support for the aggrieved employee when it is determined that sexual harassment occurred;
Identifying if a complaint is false, malicious or frivolous, or if false evidence was presented during complaint investigation proceedings with knowledge of such falsity and recommending action steps to Intelehealth or the District Officer under the Act;
Following up with Intelehealth on the recommendation made in the case of sexual harassment;
Maintaining the confidentiality of the complaint, proceedings, and action steps recommended/taken;
Preparing an annual report including (i) the number of cases filed, disposed of, pending for more than 90 days, and status every calendar year, and (ii) number of workshops or awareness program against sexual harassment carried out, and (iii) nature of action taken by the employer, and submit it to Intelehealth and the District Officer constituted under the Act;
Reporting to local law enforcement authorities in case of serious cases of sexual exploitation and abuse;
Reporting to the relevant child protection institutions if the case concerns a child; and
Carrying out any other action that IC may be required to fulfill or comply with under the Act or other applicable laws.
To implement the mandate under this Policy and fulfill its duties, IC, to the fullest extent allowed by applicable law, shall have the power to:
Summon in writing any witnesses, the aggrieved employee, and the accused person, as well as any document it deems necessary to make its recommendation;
Enforce attendance of summoned individuals;
Enforce attendance of any person and examining them on oath;
Require discovery and production of documents;
Keep copies of the documents and testimonies given before them during the investigation;
Recommend interim relief and directions during the investigation (including but not limited to transferring the accused person or the aggrieved person to another service, restraining the accused person from reporting on work performance of the aggrieved person or writing his/her report, granting an additional leave of up to 90 days to the aggrieved employee, recommend the issuance of a restraining order, or any other relief that it deems appropriate);
Make a determination as to whether sexual harassment, exploitation, or abuse occurred;
Make recommendations regarding the penalty (including pecuniary penalties) against the accused person, and compensation for the aggrieved employee; and
Other such powers as may be appropriate
Information regarding IC processes shall be transparent. However, information relating to a particular case shall be kept confidential with limited exceptions as outlined in Section 8 below.
Making a complaint:
To the extent possible, the aggrieved person should notify and provide a written and detailed account of the event(s) to their supervisors, managers, HR team member, or directly with any member of the IC within 3 months of the incident. Where there are a series of such incidents/occurrences, then the complaint should be reported within 3 months from the date of the last incident. Where the complaint is filed with the supervisor/manager/HR team member, they are obligated to transmit the same to the IC without any delay. Where the aggrieved person is not in Intelehealth’s work premise at the time of the incident, the employee may lodge the complaint with the HR department, who shall transmit the same to IC without any delay.
If the aggrieved person is a beneficiary, he or she may report the incident to the IC.
If any employee or beneficiary is unable to make a complaint on account of any incapacity—legal, physical, mental, minority, death or otherwise—the complaint can be made by any legal heir, relative, friend, co-worker, or by any person having knowledge of the incident with the employee’s or beneficiary’s written consent.
In case of mental incapacity or if the victim is a child, complaint may also be made by the guardian or authority/professional under whose care the aggrieved person is receiving treatment or care (such as special educator, qualified psychiatrist/psychologist). Where the aggrieved person is dead, the complaint can be made by any person who has knowledge of the incident, with the written consent of the legal heir.
In the event that the aggrieved employee or beneficiary is not able to make the complaint in writing, the Chairperson or any member of IC must provide all reasonable assistance to the aggrieved person for making the complaint in writing.
IC shall have the discretion to entertain a complaint made after the expiry of 3 months as mentioned in Clause 6.2.1 above, provided they record the reason for such delay in writing and they are satisfied that there were circumstances which prevented the aggrieved person from filing the complaint within 3 months. Intelehealth strongly encourages aggrieved persons to come forth to report incidents of sexual harassment, as it will enable IC to investigate and Intelehealth to take prompt actions against the alleged perpetrator.
To the extent possible, at the time of filing the complaint, the aggrieved person must submit the complaint along with supporting evidence and documentation to IC, and the names and addresses of the witnesses, if any. While the complainant may choose to remain anonymous, we encourage the complainant to cooperate with IC in the proceedings for IC to be able to take appropriate actions.
7.3 What happens after the complaint?
IC will officially record the complaint and include the date of the complaint, the date of the event(s) reported, the name of the aggrieved employee, and the name of accused person.
Within 1 week of receipt of the complaint, any IC member must personally meet the aggrieved employee, conduct an interview, and record the findings. After the interview, at least 3 members of IC, based on prima facie evidence, shall decide if the complaint is sexual harassment, exploitation, or abuse under the Policy or otherwise a disciplinary matter that needs to be dealt as per Intelehealth’s employment policies. In the event, the complaint does not fall under the purview of sexual harassment, exploitation, or abuse, the IC shall record the reasons for such decision and instruct the HR department of Intelehealth to investigate further and take necessary actions.
Where IC makes a preliminary decision that there is a preliminary case of sexual harassment and no later than 7 working days after receiving the complaint, it will provide a copy of the complaint to the respondent and give the respondent 10 working days to respond to the same.
IC shall promptly and thoroughly investigate the complaint and make and inquiry in accordance with principles of natural justice. The proceedings must have a quorum of at least 3 IC members including the Chairperson.
IC shall provide every opportunity for the aggrieved person and respondent to put forward and defend their cases. All complaints of sexual harassment will be handled by IC with sensitivity, knowledge and impartiality. IC shall forward copies of all documentary evidence submitted by the parties to each other, so that they can defend/object to the same.
At the inquiry proceedings, both parties shall be unrepresented by attorneys, and will be given the chance to explain the situation, ask questions to the other party in oral or written form, and provide more documents and witnesses to support their position. The hearing shall be video recorded and transcribed if possible, and no specific rules of evidence shall apply. Both parties may bring colleagues for advice and support.
Any person who believes their objectivity may be compromised for any reason may recuse themselves without consequence for the case or that person. The hearing shall not be invalid if a party refuses or willfully absents itself from the hearing.
Any document provided or requested prior to the hearing and any document produced at the hearing as well as questions and answers of the parties, and transcript and video of the hearing shall be safeguarded by IC, copied in the file of the aggrieved employee and the accused person, and given to each party under caution to keep it private and confidential in accordance with this Policy.
Before initiating proceedings in accordance with this Policy and when requested by the aggrieved employee in writing, IC will help settling the matter through conciliation. Upon receipt of such request from the aggrieved employee, IC shall offer the aggrieved employee and the accused person to hold a conciliation session, over which it will preside and where both parties may agree to settle the matter.
IC, if it thinks necessary and in order to verify facts, may direct the parties to make their conciliation submissions in writing along with documentary proof, and also examine other persons or witnesses with a view to helping the parties settle the matter.
No pecuniary compensation may be determined as the basis for settlement.
Where a settlement is reached, IC shall record the settlement, provide copies of the settlement agreement to the aggrieved person and respondent, and forward the same to Intelehealth to take action as specified in the recommendation. No further inquiry shall be conducted by IC thereafter, unless the aggrieved person informs IC that the respondent has breached the terms of the settlement agreement.
Within 1 working day of failing to settle the matter, or if a party declines conciliation mid-way, IC shall commence the inquiry proceedings in accordance with this Policy and applicable law.
Interim relief: IC shall ensure the safety of the complainant during the period of inquiry. If necessary or if requested by the aggrieved employee in writing, IC shall recommend Intelehealth to take interim measures like:
Transfer the complainant or the person against whom the complaint has been made to any other Intelehealth workplace;
Grant leave to the complainant up to a period of three months, provided that this leave shall be in addition to the leave he/she/they is otherwise entitled to under the terms of his/her/their employment contract;
Restrain the respondent from reporting on the work performance of the aggrieved employee or writing her/his/their confidential reports and assign the same to another officer; or
Grant such other relief to the complainant, including referring the complainant to local service providers
Intelehealth shall implement the recommendations and forward a report of such implementations to IC without any delay.
Concluding proceedings: IC shall be sensitive to the covert, private, and insidious nature of sexual harassment and shall take into account the fact that in such cases it is often not possible to submit direct corroborative evidence. IC shall not permit admissibility of any evidence or examination solely based on the aggrieved person’s character, personal life, or conduct. In conducting proceedings and investigation in India, IC shall have the same powers as a civil court trying a suit under Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
IC shall conclude the inquiry within a reasonable period but not beyond 3 months and shall communicate its findings and its recommendations for action to HR and the CEO. Intelehealth must act on recommendations within 60 days of receipt.
If IC determines that sexual harassment took place, it will make a recommendation for Intelehealth regarding the penalty against the accused person and/or compensation for the aggrieved employee. It shall recommend Intelehealth take action against the employee for “misconduct.” Such recommendation, notwithstanding his/her/their contract of employment, can include written apology, warning, reprimand, censure, withholding of promotion or pay raise or increments or incentives, termination of employment, termination of services, mandatory counselling sessions, mandatory community services, and other such actions. IC can also recommend deduction of amounts from the salary/wages of the respondent as it may consider appropriate to be paid to the aggrieved employee or legal heirs (where aggrieved party is dead). While making such recommendation for deduction, IC shall have regard for
Mental trauma, pain, suffering and emotional distress caused to the complainant;
The loss of career opportunity due to the incident;
Medical expenses incurred by the complainant for physical or psychiatric treatment;
The income and financial status of the person against whom the complaint has been proved; and
Feasibility of such payment in lump-sum or in installments by the person against whom the complaint has been proved.
Malicious or false complaint/evidence: IC may also determine penalties against someone who knowingly makes a false or malicious complaint or produces forged or misleading documents. IC shall recommend appropriate action to be taken, including publication of a written apology, warning, reprimand, or censure, or other disciplinary action against the complainant or the alleged aggrieved person. Further, if IC comes to the conclusion during the inquiry that any witness has given false evidence or produced any false or misleading documents, it may recommend taking appropriate disciplinary action against such witness. Malice shall be proven by undoubtful evidence, and insufficient evidence in support of a complaint shall not be sufficient to determine malice.
Appeal: Any person aggrieved by recommendations of IC or breach of secrecy and confidentiality obligations as provided under this Policy or by non-implementation of IC’s recommendations may seek an appeal to the court as per applicable laws. For appeals in India, the appeal shall be preferred within a period of 90 days of the recommendations.
Others: IC will report the case to the police within 7 calendar days of its determination that a crime has been committed, as well as otherwise required by the law.
Minor deviations from this procedure shall not invalidate the IC’s decision.
8. Confidentiality & Secrecy
Subject to applicable legal requirements for disclosure and access to information, the contents of the complaint; the identity and address of the aggrieved person, the complainant, the respondent, and witnesses; and any information relating to the conciliation or inquiry proceedings, recommendations of the IC, and any action taken by Intelehealth, shall not be published, communicated, or made known to the public, press, or media in any manner.
The identity of the complainant is usually revealed to the parties involved during the investigation, and Intelehealth will take adequate steps to ensure that the complainant is protected from retaliation during and after the investigation. All information pertaining to a complaint or investigation under this Policy will be maintained in secure files within the HR department.
Where any person entrusted with the duty to handle or deal with the complaint, inquiry or any recommendations or actions, contravenes the provisions of secrecy as stated above, he/she/they shall be liable for penalty in accordance with his/her/their contract of employment or as may be prescribed under the Act or other applicable laws. However, information may be published about the justice secured of any aggrieved person without disclosure of the name, address, identity or other particulars that may lead to identification of the aggrieved person, complainant, or witness.
9. Revision of this policy and IC procedure
Intelehealth may at any time revise Policy and procedure, but at least every two years.
Intelehealth shall ensure that it:
Provides a safe environment to its employees, the beneficiaries of its humanitarian assistance and services, and the communities in which it operates;
Displays at any conspicuous place in all units and workplaces, a clear description of behavior that constitutes sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse, stressing the need to report when in doubt about a case
Displays at any conspicuous place in all units and workplaces, a clear description of the mechanisms and procedures for filing a complaint or report regarding allegations or suspicions of sexual harassment, exploitation, or abuse
Enforces the disciplinary consequences of harassment, exploitation and abuse; the obligation of all personnel to report any suspicions or concerns; and the consequences for failing to report (e.g. disciplinary measures)
Displays a copy of the order/resolution/letter of Intelehealth by which IC has been constituted;
Organizes workshops and awareness programs at regular intervals for sensitizing each employee with the provisions of the relevant legislation on harassment which is in force in the jurisdictions in which Intelehealth operates;
Provide victims all the necessary assistance including safety, legal, mental and physical support;
Provide all necessary facilities, information, and assistance to IC for investigation and disposal of complaints;
Provide assistance to an aggrieved person to file a complaint or initiate action under local civil laws or refer the matter to the local criminal authorities against the perpetrator at the employee’s request; and
Monitor the timely solution of sexual harassment reports by the IC.
RIGHTS UNDER U.S. FEDERAL AND NEW YORK STATE LAW
Sexual harassment is not only prohibited by Intelehealth but is also prohibited by state, federal and, where applicable, local law.
Aside from the internal process at Intelehealth, employees may also choose to pursue legal remedies with the following governmental entities at any time.
New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR)
The Human Rights Law (HRL), codified as N.Y. Executive Law, art. 15 § 290 et seq., applies to employers in New York State with regard to sexual harassment and protects employees, paid or unpaid interns and non-employees regardless of immigration status. A complaint alleging violation of the Human Rights Law may be filed either with DHR or in New York State Supreme Court.
Complaints with DHR may be filed any time within one year of the harassment. If an individual did not file at DHR, they can sue directly in state court under the HRL, within three years of the alleged discrimination. An individual may not file with DHR if they have already filed a HRL complaint in state court.
Complaining internally to Intelehealth does not extend your time to file with DHR or in court. The one year or three years is counted from the date of the most recent incident of harassment.
You do not need an attorney to file a complaint with DHR, and there is no cost to file with DHR.
DHR will investigate your complaint and determine whether there is probable cause to believe that discrimination has occurred. Probable cause cases are forwarded to a public hearing before an administrative law judge. If discrimination is found after a hearing, DHR has the power to award relief, which varies but may include requiring your employer to take action to stop the harassment, or redress the damage caused, including paying monetary damages, attorney’s fees and civil fines.
DHR’s main office contact information is: NYS Division of Human Rights, One Fordham Plaza, Fourth Floor, Bronx, New York 10458, (718) 741-8400 [appropriate other contact info], www.dhr.ny.gov.
Contact DHR at (888) 392-3644 or visit dhr.ny.gov/complaint for more information about filing a complaint. The website has a complaint form that can be downloaded, filled out, notarized and mailed to DHR. The website also contains contact information for DHR’s regional offices across New York State.
United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
The EEOC enforces federal anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act (codified as 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.). An individual can file a complaint with the EEOC anytime within 300 days from the harassment. There is no cost to file a complaint with the EEOC. The EEOC will investigate the complaint and determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that discrimination has occurred, at which point the EEOC will issue a Right to Sue letter permitting the individual to file a complaint in federal court.
The EEOC does not hold hearings or award relief, but it may take other action including pursuing cases in federal court on behalf of complaining parties. Federal courts may award remedies if discrimination is found to have occurred.
If an employee believes that he/she has been discriminated against at work, he/she can file a “Charge of Discrimination.” The EEOC has district, area, and field offices where complaints can be filed. Contact the EEOC by calling 1-800-669-4000 (1-800-669-6820 (TTY)), visiting their website at www.eeoc.gov or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If an individual filed an administrative complaint with DHR, DHR will file the complaint with the EEOC to preserve the right to proceed in federal court.
Many localities enforce laws protecting individuals from sexual harassment and discrimination. An individual should contact the county, city or town in which they live to find out if such a law exists. For example, employees who work in New York City may file complaints of sexual harassment with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Contact their main office at Law Enforcement Bureau of the NYC Commission on Human Rights, 40 Rector Street, 10th Floor, New York, New York; call 311 or (212) 306-7450; or visit www.nyc.gov/html/cchr/html/home/home.shtml.
Contact the Local Police Department
If the harassment involves physical touching, coerced physical confinement or coerced sex acts, the conduct may constitute a crime. Contact the local police department.
INTELEHEALTH SEXUAL HARASSMENT, EXPLOITATION, AND ABUSE COMPLAINT FORM
If you believe that you have been subjected to sexual harassment, exploitation, or abuse, you are encouraged to complete this form and submit it to the Intelehealth Internal Committee for Prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, via e-mail (email@example.com) or mail (USA – 3808 Palmetto Court, Ellicott City, MD 21042 or India – 14A Shreeji Arcade, Opp Nitin Company, Panchpakhadi, Thane (w) 400610). You will not be retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint. This includes any adverse employment decision or denial of Intelehealth services to which you would otherwise be entitled. Any information shared will be kept confidential and the investigation will be handled with utmost safety, security and privacy in mind for the reporter.
If you are more comfortable reporting verbally or in another manner, your employer should complete this form, provide you with a copy and follow its sexual harassment prevention policy by investigating the claims as outlined at the end of this form
SUPPORT AND RESOURCES FOR SURVIVORS
We urge you to seek support for your mental and physical wellbeing. We have created this guide to share information and resources for survivors of sexual harassment, exploitation & abuse. We hope that you find it helpful. We know that this time in your life can be very stressful and hope that you find this guide to be empowering and uplifting.