Sexual harassment
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My boss sexually harassed me, I got him fired!

By Sraboni Basu Monday, May 30, 2016 - 21:35
Arti was shocked to learn that her colleague was being harassed by their boss. Read more to know how they gathered evidence to punish the offender…

Arti and Kavita, in their mid-twenties, work as public relations consultants in Delhi.

Arti and Kavita met in college seven years ago and have been friends ever since. They started work together at a PR firm in Delhi, when Kavita joined the organisation a few months ago.

Dealing with harassment

Soon after Kavita joined the team, her boss started showing special interest in her. He would overly appreciate everything she did and also insisted that she accompany him on his business trips. That’s where it all started.

Initially, Kavita misunderstood his casual flirting for appreciation towards her work. A few trips later, his behaviour started becoming offensive and objectionable. Whenever alone, he would touch her inappropriately and try to make sexual advances. This made her feel emotionally and physically exploited.

Kavita didn’t like her boss crossing his boundaries. One day she told Arti about his actions. Arti was furious to learn that her boss was trying to take advantage of his position. She refused to ignore the issue and decided to help Kavita deal with the situation.

The game plan

One thing was clear, Kavita was certainly not ready to compromise her self-respect for the job. Arti advised Kavita to inform the HR team about her boss immediately. She also promised to help and intervene if need be.

Kavita continued to work in the organisation, tactfully avoiding situations where she was alone with her boss. She also kept her phone camera on record mode whenever they were together. Just to get herself out of vulnerable situations, Kavita’s handbag now had a new item, a pepper spray.

It is a known fact that most sexual offenders get intimidated when confronted. Once while travelling to a meeting, Kavita confronted her boss and told him that she did not appreciate his behaviour and that he must stop. She looked at him straight in the eye. While she was at it, Arti’s words were loud and clear in her head. Arti had said, “Resisting or being vocal about non acceptable behaviour is the first step to take legal action. Otherwise, it can be deemed as a consensual situation.”

 

The final nail

Her boss seemed to understand her anger but only for a while. A month later, while they were all busy working on a critical project, he requested Kavita to stay back.

Kavita, immediately on guard, fished her personal phone out of her bag, turned on the camera and quickly hid it behind the transparent blinds across his workstation. He returned to his cabin with two cups of coffee and some cookies. They were all just waiting for their client to approve their proposal.

While waiting, he started asking Kavita personal questions – whether she had a boyfriend, what kind of men she liked etc. The very next moment, Kavita found him behind her chair, his hands on her shoulders and his faces close to hers. Kavita suddenly stood up, pushed her chair back and walked out.

New found confidence

The next morning, she showed the recording to Arti. They both approached the HR team immediately with their evidence and asked them to take strict action. She was not afraid anymore and Arti was happy to see her friend’s new found confidence. The HR team had a very long discussion with the boss that afternoon and he was fired.

Kavita was happy that she could focus back on her life and career. She didn’t have to work under a perverted boss anymore. She couldn’t thank Arti enough for fuelling courage and making her stand up for herself.

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