1887

n Acta Academica - Sexual harassment in South African and American law

Supplement 2
  • ISSN : 0587-2405

Abstract

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a grave problem and a significant obstacle to access to many sectors of the labour market. The number of sexual harassment complaints increases dramatically every year, although researchers estimate that 80 to 90% of such cases go unreported. Despite the high figures, few South African court cases and little of the legal literature deals with sexual harassment. The reason for this is that few victims of harassment report it for fear of losing their jobs or being ridiculed. Sexual harassment is an infringement upon a person's personality and thus an <i>iniurandi</i>. Negligence never suffices to prove liability. The South African Constitution determines that no-one shall be discriminated against and this provision includes a person's right to work without harassment or discrimination. It is therefore essential that all employers ensure all employees of a safe environment without discrimination. Employers must adopt a policy on sexual harassment, communicate it to all employees and ensure that it is adhered to. If harassment does take place, the procedure and disciplinary process prescribed in the policy must be enforced.

<b>Seksuele teistering in die Suid-Afrikaanse en Amerikaanse reg</b> <br>Seksuele teistering in die werkplek is 'n ernstige probleem en 'n wesenlike belemmering vir die toeganklikheid van die werksplek. Die aantal klagtes rakende seksuele teistering neem jaarliks drasties toe. Navorsers beraam dat 80 tot 90% van gevalle egter nie gerapporteer word nie. Ten spyte van die groot aantal gevalle word daar relatief min aandag in die literatuur en howe aan seksuele teistering gegee. Die rede is dat min mense wat geteister is die saak aanhangig maak, uit vrees dat hulle hul werk kan verloor of bespot kan word. Seksuele teistering is 'n skending van die persoonlikheidsregte van die individu en dus <i>iniurandi</i>. Die Suid-Afrikaanse Grondwet bepaal dat daar nie gediskrimineer mag word teen enige persoon nie, wat 'n persoon se reg om sonder teistering te werk insluit. Dit is derhalwe noodsaaklik dat werkgewers 'n veilige werksomgewing sonder diskriminasie vir alle werknemers verseker. Gevolglik behoort werkgewers 'n beleid rakende seksuele teistering daar te stel en sorg te dra dat dit aan werknemers gekommunikeer word. Indien seksuele teistering wel plaasvind, moet die prosedure en dissiplinêre proses soos uiteengesit in die beleid gevolg word.

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/content/academ/2002/sup-2/EJC15116
2002-01-01
2019-08-18

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