Brazil: Companies must implement measures to prevent and combat sexual harassment and other forms of violence by March 21, 2023.
Law No. 14.457/2022 introduced the Employ + Women Program (in Portuguese “Programa Emprega + Mulheres”) and sets forth a series of measures to promote the insertion and retention of women in the labor market, as well as measures to prevent and combat sexual harassment and other forms of violence in the workplace.
According to article 23 of the Law, companies that must constitute a CIPA (now called “Internal Committee for Accident Prevention and Harassment”) have until March 21, 2023 to implement the following measures:
- Include rules regarding sexual harassment and other forms of violence in the company’s internal policies, with wide dissemination of its content to male and female employees;
- Create procedures for receiving and following up on complaints, for investigation of the facts, and, when appropriate, for applying disciplinary measures to those directly or indirectly responsible for acts of sexual harassment and violence, ensuring the anonymity of the complainant, which does not exclude the appropriate legal procedures;
- Add topics related to the prevention and combat of sexual harassment and other forms of violence in the activities and practices of CIPA; and
- Perform, at least every 12 months, training, guidance, and awareness-raising actions for male and female employees at all hierarchical levels of the company on topics related to violence, harassment, equality, and diversity in the workplace, in accessible and appropriate formats that maximize the effectiveness of such actions.
In summary, companies have just over a month to (i) review its internal policies, (ii) set forth procedures for complaints, (iii) include the subject in CIPA’s activities, and (iv) determine the flow of periodic training on the subject. If the company does not comply with such measures within its legal term, the company may be subject to administrative penalties in the event of labor inspections.
Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel
- For companies that must have CIPA, we recommend adopting the measures to prevent and combat against sexual harassment and other forms of violence set forth by Law 14.457/2022 until its legal term (March 21, 2023);
- For other companies, although not mandatory by Law, the implementation of such measures will represent a good practice and show concern for this relevant topic.