PUTRAJAYA: Local employers have urged the Government to stop workers who have been dismissed for sexual harassment from referring their claims to the Industrial Court.
Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said local companies had clamped down hard on instances of sexual harassment.
But whenever we take tough disciplinary action against workers found to be guilty of the offence, the Government still allows them to file an appeal in the court.
Then we have to come up with extra money and resources by engaging a lawyer to counter their claim, he said in an interview yesterday.
Shamsuddin also pointed out that by allowing such claims, the victims of such offences would be put under stress and trauma as they might then have to give evidence in court.
Shamsuddin was responding to Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onns proposal that the Employment Act be amended to make it compulsory for companies to appoint special officers in charge of sexual harassment issues.
MEF is not in favour of the proposal. It will give local companies a negative image as it makes it seem like sexual harassment is so rampant in our workplaces, he said.
When contacted, Dr Fong said:
The court is independent. If the worker is guilty of the allegations against him, then he will be disgraced publicly in the court. This is not a fair remark.
On MEFs protests, Dr Fong said that having special officers in charge of occupational safety and health, is required under the OSH Act.