The elements of sexual harassment

“A mere casual buss on the cheek is not a sexual conduct or favor and does not fall within the purview of sexual harassment under R.A. No. 7877.  Section 3 (a) thereof provides, to wit:

‘Sec. 3. Work, Education or Training – related Sexual Harassment Defined. – Work, education or training-related sexual harassment is committed by an employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, trainor, or any other person who, having authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another in a work or training or education environment, demands, requests or otherwise requires any sexual favor from the other, regardless of whether the demand, request or requirement for submission is accepted by the object of said Act.

a)  In a work-related or employment environment, sexual harassment is committed when:

1)  The sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or in the employment, re-employment or continued employment of said individual, or in granting said individual favorable compensation, terms, conditions, promotions or privileges; or the refusal to grant sexual favor results in limiting, segregating or classifying the employee which in anyway would discriminate, deprive or diminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said employees;

2)  The above acts would impair the employee’s right or privileges under existing labor laws; or

3)  The above acts would result in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for the employee.’

“Clearly, under the foregoing provisions, the elements of sexual harassment are as follows:

1) The employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, trainor, or any other person has authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another;

2) The authority, influence or moral ascendancy exists in a working environment;

3) The employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, or any other person having authority, influence or moral ascendancy makes a demand, request or requirement of a sexual favor.

“In her Complaint-affidavit, Reply and Sur-rejoinder, complainant did not even allege that Judge Acosta demanded, requested or required her to give him a buss on the cheek which, she resented.  Neither did Atty. Aquino establish by convincing evidence that the busses on her cheek, which she considers as sexual favors, discriminated against her continued employment, or resulted in an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.  In fact, complainant continued to perform her work in the office with the usual normalcy.  Obviously, the alleged sexual favor, if there ever was, did not interfere with her working condition (Annexes “9″ – “9-FFF”).  Moreover, Atty. Aquino also continued to avail of benefits and leaves appurtenant to her office and was able to maintain a consistent outstanding performance.  On top of this, her working area which, is at the third floor of the CTA, is far removed from the office of Judge Acosta located at the fourth floor of the same building.  Resultantly, no hostile or intimidating working environment is apparent.

“Based on the foregoing findings, there is no sufficient evidence to create a moral certainty that Judge Acosta committed the acts complained of; that Atty. Aquino’s determination to seek justice for herself was not substantiated by convincing evidence; that the testimony of respondent judge and his witnesses are credible and therefore, should be given weight and probative value; that the respondent’s acts undoubtedly do not bear the marks of misconduct, impropriety or immorality, either under R.A. No. 7877 or the Canons of Judicial Ethics and the Code of Professional Responsibility.”[7]

Indeed, from the records on hand, there is no showing that respondent judge demanded, requested or required any sexual favor from complainant in exchange for “favorable compensation, terms, conditions, promotion or privileges” specified under Section 3 of R.A. 7877.  Nor did he, by his actuations, violate the Canons of Judicial Ethics or the Code of Professional Responsibility.

http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2002/apr2002/am_cta_01_1.htm

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About Erineus

Ernesto O. Bendita. Born on December 28, 1965, Surallah, South Cotabato, Southern Mindanao, Philippines.
This entry was posted in Children and Women, Criminal Law, Sexual Harassment and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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