Sexual harassment is prohibited by the Austrian Equal Treatment Act (“Gleichbehandlungsgesetz”) passed in 2004 and by the Federal Equal Treatment Act (“Bundes-Gleichbehandlungsgesetz”) passed in 1993. Since then, there have been amendments due to European Union legislation. The rules in both acts follow the same scheme and address:
- sex-related harassment i.e. unwanted conduct related to the protected characteristic of sex;
- harassment of a sexual nature i.e. unwanted conduct of a sexual nature.
(Sexual) harassment is subject to the Equal Treatment Act if it (1) results in an intimidating, hostile or humiliating work environment for the people concerned or this conduct is aimed to do so, or (2) if it results in a less or more favourable treatment based on a person's rejection of, or submission to, sex-related harassment or sexual harassment.
Section 6 Austrian Equal Treatment Act prohibits harassment:
- by the employer,
- by a third party related to the employment,
- by a third party not related to the employment.
The Act also holds the employer liable if he or she fails to provide a remedy against (sexual) harassment.
Turkish Labour Law ("the Law") obliges employers to protect their employees as part of their duty of care, therefore this also includes protection against harassment.
Further, the Law deems sexual harassment in the workplace as a reason for immediate termination of employment. Therefore, if an employee who has experienced harassment at work and has previously reported the harassment to the employer, and the employer has failed to take the necessary precautions against the harassment, the harassed employee would be able to resign with immediate effect and seek certain statutory payments.
The Law and the related protection has been in place since 2003.
In addition, the Turkish Code of Obligations also requires employers to establish order in the workplace ensuring that the personal rights of employees are protected. However, the actual implications of this obligation, implemented in 2011, have not been well defined by court decisions and therefore remain relatively theoretical.
The legal definition of harassment can be found in the Act No. 365/2004 Z. z. on Equal Treatment in Certain Areas and Protection against Discrimination (the “Anti-Discrimination Act”). It is defined as: “verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, the intention or consequence of which is or may be a violation of person’s dignity and which creates an intimidating, degrading, disrespectful, hostile or offensive environment”.
The definition of the term “sexual harassment” was incorporated into the Anti-Discrimination Act in 2008.
The Slovak Labour Code does not include the term "sexual harassment" but sexual harassment falls under the legal definition of s 13 (1) of the Slovak Labour Code of discrimination.
The Slovak Criminal Code does not directly recognise the term "sexual harassment", but in certain circumstances sexual harassment may result in the suspicion of committing one of the crimes against freedom as well as human dignity (e.g. stalking).