A manager at the state-owned Hulhumalé Development Corporation (HDC) has been found guilty of sexually harassing a female employee, but has been spared with a warning.
The HDC’s human resources manager Mirshan Ahmed was accused of sending inappropriate text messages to an employee who had joined the company in March.
He had suggested she was hired for her looks and told her he would penalize her when she did not respond to his messages.
According to newspaper Haveeru, Mirshan admitted to sending the inappropriate texts at a review committee.
The HDC deputy managing director Mohamed Shahid told Minivan News today that Mirshan has been warned, and said the HDC has decided to renew the female employee’s contract.
Speaking to Minivan News previously, the employee said HDC had declined to renew her contract when she raised the allegations of sexual harassment.
She said she then sent an email to all HDC staff with proof of Mirshan’s inappropriate remarks. The HDC subsequently fired the assistant director of marketing and suspended an IT officer for a “security breach.”
Shahid today said the HDC has reinstated the marketing staff and cancelled the suspension of the IT staff.
According to a law passed in May 2014, government offices must set up internal committees to investigate complaints of workplace harassment within 60 days. The committee is authorized to warn, suspend or dismiss the perpetrator.
The HDC employee who had filed sexual harassment charges told Minivan News that Ahmed regularly commented on her clothes and her hair.
“He once messaged me saying I should thank him for this job. He said he saw my picture on my application form and hired me because I looked so pretty,” she said.
“Maybe because I am a single mother, he once told me that I am a ‘buy-one-get-one free’ deal.”
When she first complained to her colleagues about the harassment, she was advised to stay silent and warned that she may lose her job.
However, she lodged a complaint with the senior management after other female employees shared similar experiences of harassment from Mirshan.
Minivan News was unable to reach the employee for comment at the time of going to press.
Aerial photo of Hulhumalé by Nattu Adnan