From a Swiss perspective, the term sexual harassment in the workplace covers any behaviour with a sexual aspect or based on gender that is unwanted by and humiliating to the recipient.
Employers are under an obligation to ensure that employees are not sexually harassed, and that any victim of sexual harassment suffers no further adverse consequences: (art. 328 para. 1 of the Code of Obligations).
Swiss law also provides for an express prohibition of discrimination through sexual harassment in the workplace, which includes in particular threats, the promise of advantages, the use of coercion and the exertion of pressure in order to obtain favours of a sexual nature (art. 3 of the Gender Equality Act 1995).
In addition, administrative law imposes the obligation on employers to take the measures necessary to protect the employee's personal integrity, which includes measures against sexual harassment under the Equality Acts.
Sexual harassment may result in a prosecution. Depending on the severity, a fine, a monetary penalty or a custodial sentence may be imposed.
It is also worth mentioning that various collective bargaining agreements set out provisions prohibiting 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.