The Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) is committed to protecting everyone
associated with IMSc (permanent and temporary workers, students, postdocs, project linked
personnel) from sexual harassment by creating and maintaining a working and living environment
that is free from sexual harassment. Harassment of persons associated with IMSc by non-IMSc
individuals, such as contractors, vendors, visitors, etc. will also come under the purview of IMSc
policy. The current members of the Internal Complaints Committee that deals with complaints of
sexual harassment at IMSc may be found here.
What is sexual harassment at the workplace? (Taken from handbook)
“Sexual Harassment” includes one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behaviour
(whether directly or by implication):
- Physical contact or advances;
- A demand or request for sexual favours;
- Making sexually coloured remarks;
- Showing pornography;
- Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature
Forms of Workplace sexual harassment: (adapted from handbook)
Generally workplace sexual harassment refers to two common forms of inappropriate behaviour:
1. Quid Pro Quo (literally ‘this for that’)
- Implied or explicit promise of preferential/detrimental treatment in employment
- Implied or express threat about their present or future employment status
2. Hostile Work Environment
- Creating a hostile, intimidating or an offensive work environment
- Humiliating treatment likely to affect their health or safety
Some examples of behaviour that constitute sexual harassment at the workplace: (adapted
- Making sexually suggestive remarks or innuendos.
- Serious or repeated offensive remarks, such as teasing related to a person’s body or
- Offensive comments or jokes.
- Inappropriate questions, suggestions or remarks about a person’s sex life.
- Displaying sexist or other offensive pictures, posters, mms, sms, whatsapp, or emails.
- Intimidation, threats, blackmail around sexual favours.
- Threats, intimidation or retaliation against an employee who speaks up about unwelcome
behaviour with sexual overtones.
- Unwelcome social invitations, with sexual overtones.
- Unwelcome sexual advances which may or may not be accompanied by promises or threats,
explicit or implicit.
- Physical contact such as unwelcome touching or pinching.
- Caressing, kissing or fondling someone against their will (could be considered assault).
- Invasion of personal space (getting too close for no reason, brushing against or cornering
- Persistently asking someone out, despite being turned down.
- Stalking an individual.
- Abuse of authority or power to threaten a person’s job or undermine her performance against
- Falsely accusing and undermining a person behind closed doors for sexual favours.
- Controlling a person’s reputation by rumour-mongering about their private life.
Some examples of behaviour that may indicate underlying workplace sexual harassment
and merit inquiry: (adapted from handbook)
- Criticizing, insulting, blaming, reprimanding or condemning an employee in public.
- Exclusion from group activities or assignments without a valid reason.
- Statements damaging a person’s reputation or career.
- Removing areas of responsibility, unjustifiably.
- Inappropriately giving too little or too much work.
- Constantly overruling authority without just cause.
- Unjustifiably monitoring everything that is done.
- Blaming an individual constantly for errors without just cause.
- Repeatedly singling out an employee by assigning her with demeaning and belittling jobs that
are not part of her regular duties.
- Insults or humiliations, repeated attempts to exclude or isolate a person.
- Systematically interfering with normal work conditions, sabotaging places or instruments of
- Humiliating a person in front of colleagues, engaging in smear campaigns.
- Arbitrarily taking disciplinary action against an employee.
- Controlling the person by withholding resources (time, budget, autonomy, and training)
necessary to succeed.
Some examples of workplace behaviours that may not constitute sexual harassment: (adapted
- Following-up on work absences.
- Requiring performance to job standards.
- The normal exercise of management rights.
- Work-related stress e.g. meeting deadlines or quality standards.
- Conditions of works.
- Constructive feedback about the work mistake and not the person.
Confidentiality and Cooperation
The ICC will endeavour to keep all investigations as confidential as possible. However, the
investigation of complaints may also require certain disclosures to the accused individual(s) and
to other witnesses for the purpose of gathering pertinent information. In such a case, the ICC will
endeavour to limit disclosures to the extent possible.
IMSc expects faculty, staff and other members of the institute to cooperate fully in the investigation
process of any complaint. If any faculty or staff member who is the subject of, or a potential
witness regarding, a harassment complaint, refuses to cooperate in an investigation, then a
disciplinary action can be initiated against him/her.