The Law n°1.457 of December 12th, 2017, establishes specific offenses for harassment, sexual blackmail and assault in the work place, which are defined as:
- For the harassment: the fact of submitting knowingly and by any means possible, in a work relationship, a physical person to repeated actions or omissions having the object or the effect a degradation of these working conditions, affecting the person’s dignity or resulting in an alteration of his/her physical or mental health;
- For the sexual blackmail: the fact of using serious pressure towards a physical person, repeatedly or not, in a work relationship or in a recruiting process, in order to obtain sexual relations for himself or anyone else;
- For the assault: the fact of threatening or assaulting, physically or psychologically, a physical person in a work relationship.
The employer is now legally obliged to take appropriate measures to prevent / stop such acts.
Otherwise, he can be held liable.
Therefore, new obligations have been introduced to the employer, like the nomination of an employee as a referent, who has to collect the alerts of the other employees, for firms employing more than 10 employees, or the implementation of an investigation procedure when an alert is given by an employee.
If recognized, the incriminated behaviour can lead to criminal sanctions from six months to two years of imprisonment and/or a fine of 18 000 € to 90 000 €.
Our team is at your service to help you assimilate these new legal obligations, implement preventive measures and assist you if an employee considers himself being victim of harassment in his work place.