Law proposed to allow terminations for sexual harassment

People who engage in sexual harassment could be dismissed from the jobs under a law that has been proposed to the National Assembly.

According to the proposal, presented by Independent Deputy Ana Matilde Gómez, workers from both genders and in both the public and private sector would be liable for this behavior. For the private sector, employment termination would apply as set out in the labor code; and in the public sector it would be in accordance with the administration career rules.

The initiative seeks to prevent, prohibit and punish sexual harassment, stalking, favoritism, sexism and racism at all levels.

Gómez said it would also include comments made outside of the workplace, as they affect the dignity and tranquillity of the recipients.

It also includes penalties for students who engage in this behavior, which includes suspensions of up to a year.


The proposal has already generated divided opinions.

Psychiatrist Juana Herrera said limiting this type of behavior should be done because these actions injure the dignity of men and women.

Dr. Eyra Ruiz, part of the multidisciplinary team for education on sexuality, also endorsed the proposal.

"It is time that women have a space to denounce these abuses. We hope there is a broad discussion of this project," Ruiz said.

Forensic psychiatrist Alejandro Pérez warned that it will be difficult to define what speech is offensive.

"Whether or not it is offensive will depend on the person who is the target of the remark," he said. "One person may not like a remark, but someone else may not have the same reaction."

Psychologist Angélica Travioto said that the law should be aimed at educating people rather than punishing them.

Under the proposal, companies and agencies that allow such behavior could also face sanctions.

Edición Impresa