Answer ... The Constitution of India provides for equality of opportunity in matters of public employment as a fundamental right. The Constitution prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, religion, place of birth, domicile, caste and descent.
Additionally, the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 and the Industrial Establishment (Standing Orders) Act 1946 set out a list of ‘unfair labour practices’ and ‘misconduct’ for employers and employees respectively. Unfair labour practices are prohibited under the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 and some may amount to harassment in the workplace. Similarly, an employee charged of misconduct amounting to any kind of harassment shall be subject to punishment.
In specific circumstances, private sector employees can also seek protection against discrimination, which is treated as a bad-faith action on the part of the employer. However, no specific statute in this respect exists.
Insofar as discrimination based on gender is concerned, the Equal Remuneration Act 1976 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of gender and against women in matters of employment (eg, recruitment, salary).
Further, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 prohibits employers from discriminating on the grounds of disability, except where such act or omission is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
Also, the federal government recently enacted the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act 2017, under which discrimination against or unfair treatment of persons with HIV or AIDS in matters of employment is prohibited. Also, anyone who is living or has lived with a person who is HIV positive is protected against discrimination.
Answer ... Please see question 4.1.
Answer ... Generally in India, employers implement policies prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of gender, caste, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability. Additionally, employers provide various training and awareness programmes for employees to sensitise them to the subject of discrimination and the procedures for reporting discrimination.
Answer ... Anyone who is discriminated against may approach the employer’s grievance redressal committee. In specific circumstances, private sector employees can also seek protection against discrimination, which is treated as a bad-faith action on the part of the employer. However, no specific statute in this respect exists.
An employee who is discriminated against on the grounds of disability may approach the designated authority prescribed under the employer’s equal opportunity policy.
Answer ... Based on the circumstances of each case, an employee who is found guilty of discrimination in the workplace shall be subject to appropriate punitive actions under the service rules and policies of the employer, including termination of employment.
Answer ... An employer must establish an internal complaints committee in each of its offices with 10 or more employees in order to handle grievances regarding sexual harassment.
All other forms of harassment, bullying and retaliation or victimisation are dealt with as per the service rules and policies of the employer. Generally, employers designate a senior-level officer or a committee of senior-level officers to handle such complaints. Upon receipt of a complaint regarding harassment, bullying or retaliation or victimisation, the officer or committee will initiate formal disciplinary proceedings against the delinquent employee and, if found guilty, impose a punishment pursuant to the service rules and policies of the employer.