Are you being discriminated against at Work?

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, discrimination is disadvantaging someone in the workplace because of their:

race, colour, sex, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction, social origin.

What is ‘adverse action’?

Under the act adverse actions include:

firing an employee, not giving an employee legal entitlements such as pay or leave, changing an employee’s job to their disadvantage, treating an employee differently than others, not hiring someone, offering a potential employee different (and unfair) terms and conditions for the job, compared to other employees.

Examples
  • being rejected from a job during the hiring process
  • being offered a lower wage or less leave than other employees in the same role with the same experience
  • being verbally or physically abused by an employer or co-worker
  • being isolated or left out by co-workers or managers
  • being paid less than others doing the same job and who have the same experience
  • being given more unpleasant or difficult duties than others in the same role
  • not being given proper equipment or facilities
  • having limited or no opportunities for promotion, transfer or training.[1]
What can I do if I think I am being discriminated against?

It is usually best to discuss your concerns with your employer first before lodging a complaint. Your employer could have made a mistake or doesn’t realise something they’re doing is creating a problem for you.

If you wish to lodge a complaint there are a number of organisations that may able to help you:

Fairwork Ombudman

Human Rights Commission

Fair Work Commission

Work health and safety body in your State or Territory

For more information or to make an appointment please contact Matthew Bridger:

e: mbridger@elringtons.com.au | p. 02 6206 1300

[1] Discrimination (http://www.fairwork.gov.au/employment/discrimination/pages/default.aspx)