Everyone has the right to a safe workplace
Everyone has the right to a safe workplace that is free from discrimination and sexual harassment.
Despite the fact that discrimination and sexual harassment is unlawful, it still happens all too often.
Our team of Australian employment lawyers and advocates at Industrial Relations Claims has extensive experience representing people who have been subjected to discrimination and sexual harassment.
We are experts at negotiating significant compensation pay outs for our clients.
What is discrimination?
Discrimination happens when you are treated less favourably because of a particular attribute compared to someone who does not have that same attribute.
Various federal and state legislation protects Australians from discrimination.
The law differs slightly from state to state, so it’s important to seek professional advice if you believe you have experienced discrimination.
What is a protected attribute?
Attributes that are protected by the law include a person’s:
- sex or gender
- sexuality or sexual orientation
- national extraction or social origin
- age (young or old)
- physical or mental impairment or disability
- martial or parental status
- political opinion
- trade union activity
Where can discrimination happen?
Unlawful discrimination can happen to you at work, or at school or university, or when you are seeking accommodation like renting a house or motel room.
It can also happen when you access goods and services.
For example, buying things from a shop, going to a café or to the movies or a medical centre – it can even happen when you hire tradespeople.
Workplace discrimination can happen when you are employed, or when you are doing work experience, or even when you apply for a job.
It also applies to contractors and volunteers.
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome conduct that is sexual in nature which makes another person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated.
It does not need to be repeated or on-going for it to be unlawful.
Both men and women can be affected by sexual harassment.
Examples of sexual harassment
Examples of sexual harassment can include:
- any unwelcome touching, no matter how minor
- comments, insults or taunts that are sexual in nature
- staring or leering
- sexually suggestive jokes or comments
- intrusive questions about your private life
- displaying posters of a sexual nature
- sending sexually explicit emails or text messages or inappropriate advances on social media
- repeated unwanted requests to go out on dates or requests for sex
Where can sexual harassment happen?
Workplace sexual harassment can happen in the work environment, including an office, or a factory or a work site.
It can also happen anywhere else that is work-related, or anywhere arising from the course of employment.
For example, hotels, restaurants, bars, taxis, Ubers, or function centres.
It can also happen on social media, or via text message.
Sexual harassment is common during work functions including Christmas parties and away trips for work such as inter-state conferences.
What should you do if you have experienced discrimination or sexual harassment?
If you believe that you have been subjected to unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment, please contact our specialist team of employment law experts today.
We understand what you are going though, and can take immediate steps to try and have the behaviour stopped.
We can also take formal legal action to secure you compensation for any shock or distress you may have suffered.
LAST UPDATED: March 2021
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