Employees Rights that you must look for in an Employment Agreement

This Article has been written by Saumya Bhardwaj, law student of Amity Law School, Delhi

When you enter your workplace, are you afraid of your colleagues joking about your low caste background? What happens when you find your colleagues speaking negatively about you, their jobs or your company on social media sites? Have your employer allowed you maternity leave? Is your general assumption that all this should not be allowed? Well, here is a surprise, you are absolutely right. All these abysmal activities cannot be allowed and they would have to refrain.

Labour laws in India provide several provisions to safeguard the rights of all employees. Employment Laws in India covers all rights, obligations and the relation between an employer and an employee. Employment Law involves diverse legal issues such as discrimination, wrongful termination, wages and taxation, social media abuse, workplace safety, rights for the disabled, to name just a few.

What is Employment Agreement?

An employment agreement basically states the necessary terms and condition for one’s employment. It provides both parties a sense of security and plays a crucial role in an event of a dispute.

“A majority of private employment in India is bound by the terms mentioned in the appointment letter. The letter forms the basis of the contract between the employee and the employer and is enforceable both ways under the Indian Contract Act 1872. It is advisable to carefully read the entire employment letter before signing on the dotted line as this saves them trouble later,” says Rohan Mahajan, Founder of LawRato.com.


Discrimination in Employment and Occupation

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), 2008 provides rules and regulations against discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, genetic information (such as family medical history), sex, pregnancy, disability, and age. In a few cases, it is also illegal to discriminate employers on the basis of political affliction, marital status and sexual orientation.

Equal Pay Act

The Equal Pay Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in the payment of wages or benefits, where similar work and effort is done by both men and women. Earlier, women were discriminated against by giving them less pay, where men and women perform work of similar skill, effort, and responsibility for the same employer under similar working conditions. The EPA applies to all employers covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Health and Safety

It is an obligation on the part of an employer that it offers a healthy and safe environment to its employees.

Right to take Leaves

In addition to the national holidays, all employees have a right to the following leaves:-

  1. Casual leave:- This is provided to an employee for urgent matters. For Example:- Family emergency, etc. Such leaves are meant for unforeseen events. In India, a person can be permitted for such leaves for maximum 3 days in a month.
  2. Maternity Leave:- The Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 provide paid maternity leave for 26 weeks. Every woman has a right to take maternity leave and get paid for that period.
  3. Sick Leave:- Every employee has a right to take leave in days of sickness and poor health. For a one day leave, the employee is not bound to provide a medical certificate. But in case of a longer leave, an employer can ask for a medical certificate as per the terms of the company or organizations.
  4. Privilege Leave:- If an employee plans to go for an outing or a wedding, he or she upholds a right to take a leave ( It is important to inform the employer about such leaves prior to the date of leave ). Basically, these are earned leaves, which can be enjoyed in the future.
  5. Compensatory Leave:- These leaves are granted when an employee works on holidays in compensation for another leave or as a cashable option.


Social Media Abuse

In today’s world of downloading, searching, updating, blogging etc. one can easily come across any information or answers in a flick of an eye. Computer is power. Spider Man once said,” With great power, comes great responsibilities”. Unfortunately, not everyone in the virtual world use this power for the greater good.

The National Labour Relations Board (NLRB), a federal agency, has the power to protect employee rights. It protects the employees against social media abuse. No employer or any colleague has a right to post about any employee’s status or make personal comments.


It is said,” It takes two to tango.” If an employee is bound to perform his job then it is also imperative on the part of an employer to discharge certain obligations for its employees. All employees must know their right. Every employer needs to understand the rights of the employees and act in accordance with the employment agreement.

Picture Courtesy: JPPhotoStyle



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