Workplace harassment and bullying is on rise. While organizations claim to have zero-tolerance harassment policy, bullying and harassment are still not being recognized at workplace. A recent suicide of a 33 year old woman employee at BHEL is a prime example of why the harassment policies need to relook at.
Neha K, employee of BHEL Hyderabad kills self and has accused her senior and colleagues as they were spying on her by tapping into her phone. She also alleged that she was being followed by them and that they passed vulgar comments.
According to a suicide note purportedly written by her, the woman accused the DGM and six other colleagues of mentally harassing her and forcing her to resort to the extreme step.
A case under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 306 (Abetment of suicide) had been registered and further investigations were on, the inspector said. PTI VVK BHEL's woman officer ends life due to "harassment" by senior and some colleagues.
This recent case also reflects on the state of workplace harassment after a year since #MeToo. In India last October, the hashtag #MeToo on social media became a semaphore, as women shared their experiences of being sexually harassed at the workplace by supervisors, colleagues or people they met in the course of earning their livelihood. However, according to a recent report, the case of sexual harassment has rose by 14 percent.
In fact, the report by Ministry of Women and Child Development registered a sudden spike of 80 percent in the complaints of sexual harassment at workplaces.
The facts are out in the open and suggests that workplaces need to stop looking at prevention of sexual harassment as one more box to tick in the long list of rules they have to comply with.