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.
Her comments followed the dismissal of a claim of discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, by way of sexual harassment and victimization dated November 17, 2015, brought by Rishi Persad Maharaj against Cascadia Hotel. Maharaj was employed by Banquet and Conference Centre Ltd on property owned by Cascadia at the time of the alleged incidents.
Ramdeen said as Maharaj is openly gay, the Equal Opportunity Act does not define what sex means, so the Tribunal could not interpret it to include homosexuals. In her opinion, Maharaj did not stand a chance with his claims based on that.
In delivering her ruling, Madam Justice Donna Prowell-Raphael ordered Maharaj to pay the legal costs of Cascadia.