Q: “Hi, Atty. Real. I’ve decided to write to you because of my dilemma. I have a female staff who is allegedly having an affair with a Manager from another department. This guy is married, but claims that he has been separated from his wife for some time already. Can this be classified as sexual harassment? I am concerned about my staff and I am unsure how to handle this.” – Madame Manager
A: Hello, Madame Manager! As the immediate superior of the girl, you have the responsibility to inquire into the truth of the matter as alleged. If there is some truth to it, then it is your responsibility to counsel her.
The manager, though separated from his wife, is still a married man and our laws prohibit romantic relations with a married man. I am sure that your company has a policy that supports these laws as well.
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Section 3 (a) of RA 7877 provides:
(a) In a work-related or employment environment, sexual harassment is committed when:
(1) The sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or in the employment, re-employment or continued employment of said individual, or in granting said individual favorable compensation, terms of conditions, promotions, or privileges; or the refusal to grant the sexual favor results in limiting, segregating or classifying the employee which in any way would discriminate, deprive or diminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said employee;
(2) The above acts would impair the employee's rights or privileges under existing labor laws; or
(3) The above acts would result in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for the employee.