Sexual harassers to face sanction
Employment and Social Protection Minister Savvas Tsitouridis unveiled a draft bill yesterday intended to punish those found guilty of sexually harassing their co-workers amid claims that one in 10 women are subject to such intimidating behavior. Those convicted of sexual harassment in the workplace will face jail time ranging from six months to three years as well as fines starting from 1,000 euros. This is the first time sexual harassment will be recognized as a punishable offense in Greece, Tsitouridis said. While 10 percent of females said they faced lewd remarks and behavior at work, another 30 percent said they knew of other women who had been harassed because of their gender, according to Eugenia Tsoumanis, general secretary for gender equality. This draft law will also help protect those who complain about harassment or who must testify about an incident from losing their jobs, said Deputy Employment Minister Gerasimos Giakoumatos. The Ombudsman will be given more power to monitor and apply the regulations and will also be required to include a special section in his annual report detailing the application of the new law. The legislation is intended to protect both males and females in the workplace and ensure they receive equal job opportunities and treatment. For example, the law will make sure employers no longer turn down female job candidates because they are pregnant or because they have recently given birth.