Romania: A New Obligation for Employers Regarding Preventing and Fighting Harassment in the Workplace
According to a new government decision, employers have the obligation to internally implement the guidelines set by the normative act regarding the prevention and fighting of harassment based on the sex criterion and moral harassment at the workplace. The aim of this normative act is to ensure the equal treatment of women and men in the workplace and that the right to a work environment free of violence and harassment is properly recognised and respected. Maintaining and encouraging a work culture that is based on respect and dignity should be a priority for employers. Government Decision No. 970/2023 includes a template for internal guidelines that can be used by employers, but this draft should be adapted to the internal structure and needs of each organisation.
All employers should check their internal policies, procedures, guidelines, or regulations regarding the equal treatment and prevention of harassment in order to verify that they are compliant with the provisions of Government Decision No. 970/2023 and, in some cases, to revise and adapt these documents. Employers that don’t have internal policies, procedures, guidelines, or regulations regarding the equal treatment and prevention of harassment will need to draft and implement the rules, either by revising their internal regulations in order to include specific provisions on this matter or by introducing a new document that will include only rules on this matter.
Even if the government decision only refers to the harassment based on the criteria of sex and moral harassment, it is recommended to extend the internally implemented rules to harassment based on all criteria as defined by the Labour Code. According to the Romanian Labour Code, harassment is linked to the criteria defined for the discrimination (including but not limited to sex), while moral harassment, that is defined by the Government Ordinance No. 137/2000, is not linked to any criteria. In order to have comprehensive internal guidelines regarding the prevention and fighting of harassment, it is advisable to address all types of harassment.