R.A. No. 7877 – Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995

by | Jan 26, 2022

RA No. 7877 – Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995

What is sexual harassment in work, education or training-related sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment in work, education or training-related sexual harassment is committed when an employer, teacher, or any person who has authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another (a) demands, (b) requests or (c) otherwise requires any sexual favor from the latter, regardless of whether the demand, request or requirement for submission is accepted by the object of said act.

Who may commit work, education, or training-related sexual harassment?

It may be committed by the following:

    1. Employer
    2. Employee
    3. Manager or supervisor
    4. Agent of the employer
    5. Teacher, instructor, or professor
    6. Coach or trainor
    7. Any other person who has authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another in a work or training or education environment
    8. Any person who directs or induces another to commit any act of sexual harassment or who cooperates in the commission thereof by another without which it would not have been committed, shall also be held liable under this Act

    How is work-related or employment environment sexual harassment committed?

    Work-related or employment environment sexual harassment is committed by the concurrence of the following:

    • The sexual favor is made as a condition in the (a) hiring or in the employment, re-employment or continued employment of individual, or (b) in granting said individual favorable compensation, terms, conditions, promotions, or privileges; or the refusal to grant the sexual favor results in limiting, segregating or classifying the employee which in any way would discriminate, deprive or diminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said employee;
    • The above acts would impair the employee’s rights or privileges under existing labor laws; or
    • The above acts would result in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for the employee.

    Workplace sexual harassment occurs when a supervisor, or agent of an employer, or any other person who has authority over another in a work environment, imposes sexual favors on another, which creates in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for the latter (LBC Express v. Palco, G.R. No. 217101, February 12, 2020).

    How is sexual harassment in education or training environment committed?

    Sexual harassment in education or training environment is committed by the presence of any of the following:

    • The sexual harassment is committed against one who is under the care, custody or supervision of the offender;
    • The sexual harassment is committed against one whose education, training, apprenticeship or tutorship is entrusted to the offender;
    • When the sexual favor is made a condition to the giving of a passing grade, or the granting of honors and scholarships, or the payment of a stipend, allowance or other benefits, privileges, or considerations; or
    • When the sexual advances result in an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for the student, trainee or apprentice.

    What is the gravamen or gist of sexual harassment?

    The gravamen of the offense in sexual harassment is not the violation of the employee’s sexuality but the abuse of power by the employer. (Phil. Aeolus Auto-Motive United Corp. v. National Labor Relations Commission, 387 Phil. 250, 264 (2000))

    What is the liability of the employer, head of office, educational or training institution?

    The employer or head of office, educational or training institution shall be solidarily liable for damages arising from the acts of sexual harassment committed in the employment, education or training environment if the employer or head of office, educational or training institution is informed of such acts by the offended party and no immediate action is taken thereon.

    What are the duties of the employer or head of office in a work-related, education or training environment in the enforcement of this Act?

    RA 7877 mandates that the employer or the head of the work-related, educational or training environment or institution duties in ensuring the enforcement of this Act, to wit:

    1. They must provide the procedures for the resolution, settlement or prosecution of acts of sexual harassment.
    2. The employer must create a committee on decorum and investigation of cases on sexual harassment.
    3. In the case of a work-related environment, the committee shall be composed of at least one (1) representative each from the management, the union, if any, the employees from the supervisory rank, and from the rank-and-file employees.

    What is the penalty or sanction of a person guilty of sexual harassment as defined in RA 7877?

    A person found guilty of sexual harassment shall be penalized by imprisonment of not less than one (1) month nor more than six (6) months, or a fine of not less than ten thousand pesos (P10,000) nor more than twenty thousand pesos (P20,000), or both.

    May damages resulting from sexual harassment may be separately and independently instituted?

    Yes. Sec. 6, RA 7877 provides that nothing in this Act shall preclude the victim of work, education, or training-related sexual harassment from instituting a separate and independent action for damages and other affirmative relief.