Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

EOC Gives Legal Assistance in a Sexual Harassment Case


The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has today (5 November 2021) issued legal proceedings under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO), Cap. 480 in the District Court, on behalf of a woman (the Claimant) who alleges that her former male colleague (the Respondent) sexually harassed her in the workplace on a number of occasions, including making unwelcome physical contact such as stroking her back and giving her unwelcome attention of a sexual nature by staring at her chest when her clothes got wet in the rain during a workplace event.

The Court has granted an anonymity order to protect the identity of the Claimant and she is identified as “C” in the Notice of Claim. 

Under the SDO, sexual harassment occurs if the harasser engages in any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to the victim in circumstances in which a reasonable person would have anticipated that the victim would be offended, humiliated, or intimidated. Further, sexual harassment also occurs if the harasser, alone or together with other persons, engages in conduct of a sexual nature which creates a hostile or intimidating environment for the victim. The SDO covers sexual harassment in the employment field.

It has been brought to the EOC’s attention that there continues to be a considerable number of cases whereby employees were exposed to sexual harassment in the workplace. From 2017 to 2020, the EOC received 519 sexual harassment complaints, representing 45% of all the complaints received by the EOC under the SDO.

By taking this case to court, the EOC hopes to raise public awareness that a person making unwelcome physical contact and/or giving unwelcome attention of a sexual nature to a co-worker in the workplace may constitute sexual harassment. Eliminating sexual harassment remains one of the EOC’s top work priorities.


Equal Opportunities Commission
5 November 2021