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Legal Update

Protection Against Sexual Harassment by Customers

19 June 2014
Mayer Brown JSM Legal Update

The Hong Kong government will gazette this Friday, 20 June 2014, a bill to amend the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (Cap 480) to protect service providers from sexual harassment by their customers.

Current Position

Under the current legislation, it is unlawful for a service provider to sexually harass a customer in the course of offering or providing goods, facilities or services.

However, the legislation does not outlaw sexual harassment of a service provider by a customer.

Proposed Changes

Under the Bill, the proposal is to amend the Sex Discrimination Ordinance to outlaw sexual harassment of service providers by customers. This would protect women (and men) in all the service sectors in Hong Kong, including those who work as nurses, cabin attendants, waitresses and waiters, salespersons and beer promoters.

In addition, the Bill will also seek to outlaw sexual harassment on board Hong Kong registered ships and aircraft while outside Hong Kong.

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