Man 1 is the decision maker.
Man 2 is the reporting manager of the accused.
Man 3 exists.
Woman has no stake in the decision but has been in a similar situation and has a strong opinion.
Background : Female was being subtly harassed by 3 men at her workplace in the form of teasing and comments. She ignored and avoided them as much as possible but 6 months later, she complained to her reporting manager. Reporting manager does not like accused which was one of the reasons why he quickly escalated the issue to the harassment committee. The committee has been deliberating for weeks and confused about the severity of the punishment that should be meted out to the accused.
Man 2 : This isn’t harassment. It is just some teasing and light banter.
Woman : Actually, it is. According to the law, it is illegal and the Vishaka committee guidelines are very clear about such behaviour at the workplace. The accused were part of the training last year and yet they have the audacity to exhibit such behaviour.
Man 1 : But sacking them is an extreme step. Maybe put the accused and victim in the same room and give a stern warning asking them to stay away from her.
Woman : Will that be enough to deter them from harassing someone else in the future? In any good organisation, they would get sacked. That is the right deterrent.
Man 1: She has been working here for 8 years. Why has she complained now? It is politics. Her reporting manager does not like the accused. She is quite timid.
Woman : She complained after months of being harassed. The only reason she complained is because she is not timid and quite upfront. She has been feeling awful at this workplace. If another such incident occurs, she will quit.
Man 2 : But sacking them is not the solution.
Woman : A message needs to go out that such behaviour is not acceptable in a professional work environment. Distance has to be maintained no matter how friendly you are with a person. Certain comments are unacceptable.
Change of topic
What happens next? Watch this space to find out.