Following the enactment of the Anti-Harassment Law in 2018, Resolution No. (20912) was recently passed, which sets out procedures and requirements for employers to safeguard the privacy, dignity, and personal freedom of employees, and protect them against behavioral abuse. The resolution broadly defines “behavioral abuse” as all acts of abuse by one party against another. Behavioral abuse can occur physically, verbally, or by electronic means, and can take place outside of working hours and the workplace. Further, it covers acts that may intend, lead, or potentially lead to physical, psychological, sexual, or economic harm to the other party. The resolution prescribes a number of measures that must be taken by employers to protect employees from behavioral abuse.
These include the following:
- Providing a means for filing a complaint through the employer’s website, email, or telephone
- Raising the awareness of employees with regard to facing and reporting behavioral abuse
- Forming a committee to investigate allegations of behavioral abuse and to recommend appropriate disciplinary penalties where applicable
- Ensuring confidentiality for the parties involved and the complaint process
- Escalating complaints to the relevant authorities when the abuse constitutes a criminal offense
- Penalties will apply to employers that fail to comply with the resolution.
Businesses may want to ensure that a policy framework is in place to comply with the requirements of Resolution No. (20912). They may also want to hold awareness training for managers and general staff on the requirements of Resolution No. (20912) and the types of conduct that are prohibited and will attract disciplinary sanctions.
Written by Zahir Qayum of Al Tamimi & Co. and Roger James of Ogletree Deakins
© 2020 Al Tamimi & Co. and Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.