Cyprus Mail

Three women report sexual harassment at Nicosia Water Board

water board of nicosia 4056

Ombudswoman Maria Stylianou Lottides ordered disciplinary proceedings against a male employee at the Nicosia Water Board on Thursday after three women who work there reported him for sexual harassment.

Lottides criticised the water board’s initial probe into the allegations as completely void, as the man was actually involved in the investigation on the claims against him.

“His involvement in the investigation on harassment violates the principle of impartiality.”

Although three female employees at the Nicosia Water Board reported him, the board’s probe did not find any evidence of sexual harassment during its investigation of the first two complaints.

In an urgent letter to the water board’s chair, Lottides recommended immediate disciplinary proceedings against the specific man. She had met with the board, its legal advisor, and two of the women; the third was absent due to health reasons earlier in the day.

“Based on the investigation of all three complaints and the testimonies, I conclude there is evidence against the accused, indicating that non-physical sexual harassment was expressed both verbally and non-verbally,” Lottides stated.

As a result, the women are victims of gender-based discrimination at work.

Lottides underlined that the water board failed to take necessary measures to prevent instances of sexual harassment.

She ordered the board to establish a committee on equality and to implement measures to address sexual harassment in accordance with the code of conduct.

The ombudswoman also underlined that in view of the new legislative framework being drafted in the context of local government reform, gender harassment and sexual harassment should be considered separate disciplinary offences.

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