Protection from harassment

  • Find it in the Law:
    Law on Protection from Discrimination, Law on Gender Equality
  • Who is responsible:
    Check with the employer/school and its respective bodies to find the proper address to file complaints related to harassment. Issues of harassment are usually addressed by human resource offices, but in small organizations it might be most appropriate to address the matter to the highest authority (i.e. the owner or the executive director)
  • Who can help me:
    In case the employer is not interested in taking measures or if he/she himself/herself is the perpetrator, you may file a lawsuit in a competent court or with the Ombudsperson Institution.

Let’s say that you are being harassed at the office or at school by a superior or peer who makes you uncomfortable through his actions and words. You should know that the Law on Protection from Discrimination provides for legal protection you from such behavior. Harassment is defined in the Law on Protection from Discrimination as an “unwanted conduct which has the purpose of violating the dignity of the person and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment”. The Law on Gender Equality on the other hand also defines sexual harassment as a specific form harassment that is based on sexual difference. Both of these laws allows you to file a lawsuit to a competent court or file a case to the Ombudsperson Institution. In case of harassment the law foresees a fine in between 450 to 750 EUR for the perpetrator. It also foresees additional penalties in case the institution (e.g. employer) does not take into account court orders to prevent harassment.


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