Tue, Oct 07, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Amendment would push firms to fight sexual harassment

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The legislature’s Health, Environment and Labor Committee yesterday passed a draft amendment that would increase the penalty for employers who fail to implement measures addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.

Under the Gender Equality Employment Law (性別工作平等法), employers can be fined between NT$100,000 and NT$500,000 for discriminating against an employee or job applicant based on gender.

The penalty is lower, however, for employers that fail to implement measures to combat sexual harassment at work, including establishing procedures for filing complaints and punishing known harassers.

Article 38 of the law stipulates that companies with more than 30 employees that fail to take appropriate measures to prevent or respond to sexual harassment “shall be punished by administrative fines of between 10,000 yuan and 100,000 yuan.”

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) proposed the draft amendment, which would raise the fine to between NT$100,000 and NT$500,000 for failing to combat sexual harassment in the workplace, which would put the penalty on a par with that for discrimination based on gender.

Council of Labor Affairs Minister Wang Ju-hsuan (王如玄) said the council “supports this amendment because we believe it will promote gender equality in the workplace.”

The changes must next pass a general vote in the legislature.

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