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THE LABOR Office is investigating 26 reports of sexual harassment, all of which were lodged by housemaids.

Six other complaints were made by Cypriot and European woman regarding discrimination due to pregnancy and their gender.

According to reports the Labour Ministry is currently examining 32 sex discrimination accusations, 26 of which involve sexual harassment in the workplace.

All the charges involve the period December 2008 to February 2009.

According to the Labour Department’s equality inspector Stella Komninou, 26 of the charges involve sexual harassment in the workplace, four involve discrimination in the workplace due to pregnancy and two involve gender discrimination.

Komninou said all 26 sexual harassment charges were made by foreign housemaids who tended to live with their employers. Each complaint is investigated and the report is sent to the Labour Relations Department and from there to a Civil Registry and Migration officer.

By law sexual harassment is expressly forbidden. It is any unwelcome sexual behavior that is expressed in words or actions and that affects a person’s integrity, creating a hostile, humiliating work environment.

The four women who complained of discrimination due to pregnancy are employed in the private sector, according to Politis. Three are Cypriot and one is an EU national. The women said they had been treated less favorably because they were pregnant.

Only two of the charges were lodged by women employed in the civil service. Both claimed they had been discriminated against in their professional advanced.

The Labour Office sent a memo to all public service departments listing the rights of workers on issues of equality.

Cyprus Mail, February 11, 2009|||Sexual harassment complaints on the rise
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