Public Defender Establishes Sexual Harassment in Professional Relations
On April 13, 2020, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the founder of the paragliding company X Caucasus with a recommendation concerning sexual harassment in professional relations.
The applicant was employed in X Caucasus. To do her job, she lived together with two other employees of the company in the Svaneti region. During that period, the founder of the company sexually harassed the applicant several times. In particular, despite the applicant’s resistance, he entered her bedroom, while in the following days, he offered sexual intercourse to her. As a result, the applicant was forced to quit, as she was insulted and intimidated.
The Public Defender noted that it must have been foreseeable for the respondent that the offers of a sexual nature would be unacceptable to the applicant, as the parties did not have the kind of relationship that would justify his conduct. The recommendation also refers to the employee’s particular vulnerability due to being young and temporarily employed. In addition, she was very far from home and financially fully dependent on the company, which made her unable to leave Svaneti, where she knew no one but her colleagues.
Given all the above and based on the questioning of the parties and third parties, as well as the correspondence between the applicant and the respondent and other employees of the company, the Public Defender established sexual harassment in professional relations and recommended the respondent not to be engaged in sexual harassment in professional relations in the future and not to create an abusive, intimidating and/or inappropriate work environment for individuals.