Sexual Harassment

EOC chairman wants zero tolerance on sexual harassment

The Chairman of the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) is advocating that the country adopt a position of zero tolerance towards sexual harassment.

Lynette Seebaran-Suite says workers, trade unions, government, business and civil society must come together on this issue.

According to Mrs Seebaran-Suite, far too often, the victims of sexual harassment are further victimised, traumatised and harassed because they stand up for themselves—and that’s just plain wrong.

Worker's sexual harassment claim dismissed

Lay assessor of the Equal Opportunity Tribunal (EOT), Leela Ramdeen, says the time has come for legislation specifically tackling sexual harassment to be introduced.

In an interview at the EOT's office on Manic Street in Chaguanas, Ramdeen said until the state amends or creates a law specific to sexual harassment outside of the criminal act that covers it, no one is protected.

HR EXPERTS: Time for proper sexual harassment law and protocols

A call for proper systems -- including clear cut legislation -- to be put in place to deal with cases of sexual harassment in this country.

It comes in light of the recent furore surrounding the Darryl Smith Report -- the outcome of a probe of sexual harassment allegations against the former minister, and a wrongful dismissal claim by the alleged victim.

According to HR consultant, Cavelle Joseph-St Omer, it is imperative that there are properly trained practitioners to handle sexual harassment cases in this country.

DEVANT MAHARAJ: Plot to erase Smith Report

Former government minister Devant Maharaj is questioning whether attorney Elaine Green will continue to receive state briefs, given the outcome of the Darryl Smith Report.

The report has been discarded. It was commissioned by the prime minister, to determine the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of Smith's personal assistant, after she filed a wrongful dismissal lawsuit and sexual harassment claims against him.

Not true Dr Rowley

Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley ap­pears not to have told the en­tire truth when he spoke at yes­ter­day’s post-Cab­i­net news con­fer­ence and claimed that he could not make the re­port in­to the con­duct of for­mer Sports and Youth Af­fairs min­is­ter Dar­ryl Smith avail­able to the pub­lic be­cause Smith was not giv­en a chance by the in­ves­tiga­tive com­mit­tee to give his side of the sto­ry.

Row­ley told the news con­fer­ence: “It was con­firmed he was not spo­ken to by the com­pil­ers of the re­port but they came to con­clu­sions ad­verse to Mr Smith.”

PM’s Lawyer: “I am the Quamina in the Smith Report…”

The prime minister’s attorney, Michael Quamina, has confirmed that he is the Quamina mentioned in the Darryl Smith Report.

Speaking on THE MORNING BREW today, Mr Quamina told us that he was brought in to the case at the point in time when it appeared the conciliation proceedings for a wrongful dismissal matter, which were taking place at the labour ministry, were not going to bear fruit.

MARAJ: “PM needs to clear air on Smith Report…”

Former government minister, Ralph Maraj, says Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley needs to account to the country for his statement that the Smith Report could not be made public, since Mr Smith had not been interviewed by the investigative committee.

It has since been revealed that Darryl Smith was interviewed by the committee, which was probing the sexual harassment allegations against him.

Speaking on THE MORNING BREW today, Ralph Maraj stated that the PM needs to let the people know whether he was ill-informed on the matter, or whether he told an outright untruth.

Probing body claims cover up in Darryl Smith case

Cov­er up! That is one of the ma­jor find­ings of the re­port of a com­mit­tee set up by Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley to in­ves­ti­gate the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the dis­missal and pay­ment of $150,000 to a former em­ploy­ee of the Min­istry of Sport and Youth Af­fairs, af­ter she al­leged that she was sex­u­al­ly ha­rassed by the for­mer min­is­ter Dar­ryl Smith.

MERRITT: “Darryl Smith NDA may not be valid…”

Criminal law attorney, Mario Merritt, believes the non-disclosure agreement signed between former sports minister Darryl Smith and the person who accused him of sexual harassment, may not be valid.

He says this is because an NDA cannot be used to cover-up an actual crime.

“The law prohibits contracts that are against public policy. If you’re dealing with a normal trade dispute, it’s not a problem,” he explains. “But if you are using an NDA to hide a criminal act, then that agreement is void; it has no value. You can’t use a contractual relationship to allow crime.”

WAITHE: Police must probe Darryl Smith case

Head of FIXIN T&T, Kirk Waithe, says the allegations of cover-up in the Darryl Smith matter, are extremely worrying, and he believes it is time the police launch an investigation into the case.

Kirk Waithe is taking issue with the fact that the settlement awarded to the victim in the sexual harassment claim against Darryl Smith, was paid with public funds. He also points out that the victim could never discuss the matter because she was forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement.