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Navigating New Regulations: Balancing Efficiency and Employer Responsibilities in Disciplinary Investigations

Publication: ZRVP

In a notable development for Romanian employment law, the autumn of 2023 witnessed the implementation of the Methodology regarding the prevention and combating of harassment based on gender, as well as moral harassment at the workplace (“Methodology”). This ushered in a set of changes aiming to streamline the disciplinary investigation process while also raising questions about potential additional burdens on employers.


General Directions

The Methodology introduces crucial changes targeted at employers dealing with gender and moral harassment at the workplace. Employers are now tasked with collecting and assessing data, issuing reports, studies, analyses and/or forecasts, as well as monitoring specific aspects related to equal opportunities between women and men.

For anti-harassment based on gender, employers must establish, inter alia, internal procedures regulating promotions within the company, including in decisional, board or supervision roles. This obligation, while not entirely new, has gained prominence with the Methodology.

Employers are also required to inform and instruct employees on harassment awareness and prevention through annual courses and dissemination of the Methodology.

Effective Mandatory Measures Concerning the Employer

Employees are now encouraged to file harassment complaints in cases of divergent opinions or small personal conflicts that may escalate. Other examples construed as possible harassment cases are tension caused by an individual or group against an employee, stigmatization, dismissal or coercive measures.

Framework of Gender and Moral Harassment at the Workplace

 The Methodology introduces a statutory guide mirroring the main clauses of internal procedures for preventing and combating gender and moral harassment (the ”Guide”). Along with other obligations, employers must designate through an administrative act a person or commission (the “Commission”) to receive and resolve complaints, ensuring confidentiality until their appointment.

Harassment Complaint

The Methodology lists the actions available to employees in cases of gender or moral harassment. Depending on the case, employees may try a direct approach of the harasser or, if this is not possible, inform the hierarchic superior. Subsequently, they have the possibility to inform the Commission. In addition, the victim can file a written or oral complaint, and various resolution options are available, including amicable settlement or legal action.

Investigation Procedure

The Commission must substantiate the investigation with a case report within seven business days of the complaint filing. The final report, concluding the settlement process, must be issued within 45 business days, as indicated in the Guide.

Notably, any potential disciplinary sanction must be issued within 30 calendar days of the employer’s knowledge of the harassment act, but not exceeding six months from the commission of the deed.


It is crucial to note that the Guide is mandatory for preventing and combating gender and moral harassment at the workplace, without excluding the general rules of disciplinary investigation governed by the Labour Code. Employers retain the right to establish separate procedures for disciplinary investigations unrelated to gender or moral harassment.

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