Prevention of sexual harassment (POSH) policy

We believe in creating fair and equitable environments within the organization, for folks who interact with us on contract, and for our larger communities. To that end, this Prevention of Sexual Harassment policy details our intention and commitment to safety and dignity of all persons. We have simplified the policy below for easy readability, so that anyone associating with Hasgeek is under no doubt that harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment, is forbidden in this organization and the communities we foster and every employee, contractor and community member has the right to be protected against it.

Prevention of sexual harassment policy

The purpose of this policy is to prevent any acts of sexual harassment and to provide redressal in the event of sexual harassment at the workplace. At Hasgeek, we nurture safety, dignity and the drawing of clear boundaries with zero tolerance of misconduct of any sort.

This policy has been created in accordance with the provisions of The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (PoSH Act).

Our policy includes individuals of all genders. While legal redressal is available only to women as per the PoSH Act of 2013, within the bounds of our policy and our Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), the right to exist in a discrimination-free environment and raise a complaint rests with all genders.

What is considered sexual harassment

Direct sexual harassment

Sexual harassment includes any one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behaviour (whether directly or by implication):

  1. Physical contact and advances
  2. A demand or request for sexual favours
  3. Making sexually coloured remarks
  4. Showing pornography
  5. Physical stalking
  6. Voyeurism
  7. Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature
  8. Deprecatory comments, conduct or any such behaviour based on the gender identity or sexual orientation of a person
  9. Continued expressions of sexual interest against a person’s wishes
  10. Creating a hostile work environment by putting a complainant (of sexual harassment) in a disadvantageous position with regard to employment, associated privileges, benefits and career enhancement

Further behaviours of sexual harassment are defined as, but not limited to:

  1. Verbal harassment of a sexual nature, such as lewd comments, sexual jokes or references and offensive personal references; demeaning, insulting, intimidating or sexually suggestive comments about an individual’s personal appearance, whether oral, written or electronically transmitted including via disappearing messages.

  2. A demand or request for sexual favours, showing pornography, any other unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature such as lurid stares, physical contact or molestation, stalking, sounds, signs or display of pictures.

  3. An act or conduct by a person in authority which makes the workplace environment hostile or intimidating to a person, or unreasonably interferes with the individual’s privacy and productivity at work.

  4. Any other behaviour which an individual may reasonably perceive as having sexual overtones.

Indirect sexual harassment

If the following circumstances occur in relation to or are connected to any sexual act or behaviour of sexual harassment, they also amount to sexual harassment:

  1. Implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in their employment
  2. Implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in their employment
  3. Implied or explicit threat about their present or future employment status
  4. Interferes with their work or creating an intimidating or offensive or hostile work environment for them
  5. Humiliating treatment likely to affect their health or safety


This policy is applicable:

  1. In office premises
  2. To all locations where employees travel while on assignment
  3. In any place the employee visits in connection with their work with Hasgeek, including transportation provided for undertaking such a journey
  4. Virtual spaces

All the above are classified as “workplace”.

To whom does it apply?

This policy is applicable to all employees:

  • for any work on regular, temporary, ad-hoc or daily wage basis
  • for remuneration or not, or working on a voluntary basis or otherwise
  • as a coworker, a contract worker, probationer, trainee, apprentice or by any other such name

This policy is applicable also for community members or an outsider or third party who has visited the workplace.


The process for submitting a complaint is as follows:

  1. Write to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC): Submit a written or electronic complaint to the ICC. You can write to or approach any member of the ICC with the complaint.

  2. Submit the complaint within three months of the incident: Submit the complaint within three months of the occurrence or six months if there are exceptional circumstances due to which you cannot submit the complaint earlier.

  3. Keep documents for evidence: We advise you to be vigilant and keep any document with you which can be used to substantiate an allegation. The redressal system will work based on other evidence if you cannot produce any documentary evidence.


The identity of the Complainant, Respondent and Witnesses shall be required to stay confidential. The information pertaining to the proceedings, conciliation, inquiry etc. shall remain confidential. The findings are submitted to the employer for action, and stays confidential at this stage too. None of this information can be published, communicated or made known to any third person within the organization or community, the public, press or media in any manner.

No information regarding the complaint, or details of the Complainant, Respondent, Witnesses and involved members of the ICC (collectively “stakeholders”) shall be published or uploaded by any stakeholder involved in the complaint and inquiry process on social media in the form of direct posts, screenshots or indirect posts where any stakeholder may be identified. Non-compliance shall result in disciplinary action by the Employer if the stakeholder is an employee of Hasgeek, and in a complaint with law enforcement authorities if the individual is not an employee of Hasgeek.


After a complaint is submitted, the redressal process is as follows:

  1. ICC reviews the complaint: The ICC shall take cognizance of the complaint at the earliest, within 10 days of receiving the complaint.

  2. The ICC informs the accused or respondent: Within 10 days of receiving the complaint, the person who is accused by the complainant will be informed that a complaint has been filed against them.

    • They will be made aware of the details of the allegation and also the name of the complainant as it would be necessary for proper inquiry.

    • No unfair acts of retaliation or unethical action will be tolerated.

  3. The complainant can ask for conciliation: The complainant has the opportunity to ask for conciliation proceedings. A request for conciliation should be made within two weeks of receiving a reply from the respondent.

    • Conciliation is a practical mechanism through which issues are resolved or misunderstandings cleared. It doesn’t mean acceptance of complaint by the respondent.

    • In such conciliations, the complainant cannot demand monetary compensation.

  4. A settlement is reached between the complainant and respondent: In case a settlement is arrived at, the ICC will record and report the same to the employer for taking appropriate action.

    • The ICC shall provide the copies of the settlement as recorded during conciliation to the complainant and the respondent.

    • The respondent complies with the terms and conditions.


If no settlement is reached between the parties, or if the respondent is not complying with the terms and conditions, the complainant can approach the ICC for an inquiry process.

  1. The complainant requests a formal inquiry: The ICC shall proceed with the formal inquiry process within seven days of receiving the request.

  2. The ICC questions both the complainant and the respondent separately: An aggrieved person or respondent shall not question each other or other witnesses directly but may raise questions to be asked of that party through the ICC, which will determine whether to ask them.

  3. The ICC questions witnesses: If required, the person who has been named as a witness will need to provide the necessary information to assist in resolving the matter satisfactorily. The ICC shall call upon all witnesses mentioned by both the parties.

    • The ICC shall also call upon any witnesses it feels may provide necessary and vital information in regards to the inquiry.
  4. The ICC requests for documents: The ICC can ask for specific documents from a person if it feels that they are important for the purpose of investigation.

  5. The ICC completes its investigation and prepares a report: The ICC should complete its investigation within 90 days of a complaint of sexual harassment and prepare an inquiry report that includes the recommended decision and the reasons for arriving at the decision.

  6. The ICC notifies the complainant and respondent: Notification of the decision and the reasons shall be individually given to the respondent and complainant on the same day.

  7. The ICC shares the report with the employer or District Officer: The ICC should share the report with the employer (or the District Officer) within 10 days of completion of the investigation.

  8. The employer or District Officer takes action against the respondent: The employer or the District Officer will act on the recommendations of the ICC within 60 days of the receipt of the report.

Any party aggrieved by the report can prefer an appeal in the appropriate Court or Tribunal in accordance with the service rules within 90 days of the recommendation having been given to the employer or District Officer.

If a party is not present for more than three consecutive hearings, without sufficient cause, the ICC may, after giving that party a notice of 15 days, give an ex parte decision on the complaint.

Disciplinary action

Where any misconduct is found by the ICC, appropriate disciplinary action shall be taken against the accused, up to and including termination. This action shall be in addition to any legal recourse sought by the complainant.

In case the ICC finds the degree of offence coverable under the Indian Penal Code, then this fact shall be mentioned in its report and appropriate action shall be initiated by the management of the organization for reporting to law enforcement authorities.


Protecting the complainant

It is the role of the ICC to ensure that the complainant or the witness are not victimized or discriminated against.

Option to seek transfer or leave: During the conciliation and inquiry, the complainant can seek transfer or leave so that the inquiry process can continue unhindered and to prevent recurrence of similar situations or discomfort to the complainant.

The leave can extend for a maximum period of three months. Leave granted under this provision will be paid leave and will not be counted in the number of leaves that the complainant is statutorily entitled to.

The ICC has the discretion to grant leave of an appropriate duration, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, or grant an alternate measure such as transferring the employee or the accused, as it deems fit.

Option to work from home: The complainant may be required to work from home if it is practical, keeping in mind the nature of work of the complainant, their health and their mental condition. However, the complainant is under a good faith obligation and shall not abuse the process.

Protection from a hostile environment: The ICC shall also take note of the inherent power asymmetry and/or the vulnerability of the complainant in such cases and take steps to ensure that the aggrieved person is not subjected to a hostile environment during the investigation.

Protection from retaliation: Regardless of the outcome of the complaint made in good faith, the employee lodging the complaint and any person providing information or any witness, will be protected from any form of retaliation.

Protection from retaliatory action: Any unwarranted pressures, retaliatory or any other type of unethical behaviour by the respondent against the complainant while the investigation is in progress should be reported by the complainant to the ICC as soon as possible.

Retaliation cases must be treated as seriously as an alleged case of sexual harassment even if the original harassment complaint is not proven.

Confidentiality: The contents of the complaint made, the identity of the complainant, respondent and witnesses, any information relating to conciliation and inquiry proceedings, recommendations of the ICC and the action taken by the employer shall not be published, communicated or made known to the public, press and media in any manner.

Any person contravening the confidentiality clause is subject to disciplinary action as prescribed in the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013.

Protecting the respondent

If the ICC finds that the complainant has maliciously given a false complaint against the accused, disciplinary action shall be taken against the complainant as well.

Establish malicious intent through a separate inquiry: While deciding malicious intent, the ICC should consider that mere inability to substantiate a complaint need not mean malicious intent.

Recommend disciplinary action against the complainant: If the ICC arrives at the conclusion that the allegation against the respondent is malicious, they must recommend the employer to take appropriate action against the complainant.

Roles and Responsibilities

To ensure a safe workplace, everyone including ICC members have roles and responsibilities.

Internal Complaints Committee (ICC)

The Internal Complaints Committee is constituted for our organization by the management to look into matters concerning sexual harassment.

The ICC is responsible for:

  1. Remaining free of bias and conducting inquiries in a fair manner, and as per the process outlined
  2. Conducting a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation of a complaint
  3. Recording minutes of the proceedings in English or another language familiar to the complainant or the respondent
  4. Ensuring that at least three members of the ICC, including one woman, is present for each hearing
  5. Submitting an annual report comprising details of all cases and actions taken at the end of each calendar year
  6. Keeping information completely confidential, and disclose it strictly on a “need to know” basis
  7. Setting an example of proper and appropriate workplace behaviour and ethical standards
  8. For assisting employees with filing a complaint in the police station if they face sexual harassment outside of the organizational work and work premises


Hasgeek is committed to providing a safe working environment for its employees that is free from harassment, bias and prejudice of any kind:

  • Treat Sexual Harassment as misconduct under the service rules and take appropriate action as required.
  • Encourage respectful and dignified behaviour at the workplace at all times.
  • Have zero tolerance toward acts of sexual harassment.
  • Declare the names and contact details of all members of the ICC.
  • Display at conspicuous places in the workplace the penal consequences of Sexual Harassment.
  • Organize workshops and awareness programs at regular intervals for sensitizing employees, keeping in mind the provisions of this policy.
  • Organize orientation and skill-building programs for the members of the ICC.
  • Provide the ICC with any support it may require in the process of conducting an inquiry.
  • Assist in securing the attendance all parties required for an inquiry, including the respondent, complainant and witnesses.
  • Provide assistance to the complainant if they chooses to file a complaint in relation to the offence under the Indian Penal Code or any other law for the time being in force.
  • Monitor the timely submission of reports by the ICC.