BULLYING CAN BE DISGUISED AS DISCRIMINATION

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At Anderson Gray, we’ve helped many people who have been discriminated against in the workplace.

DISCRIMINATION

New South Wales was one of the first states to implement strict rules to protect employees from discrimination. Unfortunately, instances of discrimination are still far too common in the workplace and elsewhere.

DISCRIMINATION

Discrimination law in New South Wales is regulated by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW).  Discrimination is generally described as occurring anytime there is less favourable treatment of a person because of an “identifiable attribute”.

In other words, if you are treated less favourably (than someone without your identifiable attribute) at work because of one or more of the attributes listed below, then you have been discriminated against at work and may be able to take action.

Ready to tell us your story?

If you think you’ve been discriminated against or you have been sexually harassed at work, then please contact us at Anderson Gray Lawyers for a confidential, no obligation discussion about your situation.

The list of identifiable attributes as provided by the New South Wales legislation include:

  • nationality;
  • age;
  • breastfeeding;
  • family responsibilities (responsibility to care for or support a child or other member of immediate family);
  • gender identity (a person identifies as a member of the opposite sex, or is of indeterminate sex and seeks to live as a member of a particular sex);
  • impairment (covers most physical and psychological conditions, and includes reliance of a guide, hearing, or assistance dog, wheelchair or other remedial device, as well as present and past impairments);
  • lawful sexual activity (a person’s status as a lawfully employed sex worker, whether or not self-employed);
  • parental status (includes being a step-parent, adoptive parent, foster parent, or guardian);
  • political belief or activity;
  • pregnancy;
  • race (includes colour, descent, ethnic origin, and nationality or national origin);
  • religious status (whether a person is single, married, married but separated, divorced, widowed, de facto partner, or civil partner);
  • sex;
  • sexuality (heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality);
  • trade union activity;
  • association with, or relation to, a person identified on the basis of any of the above attributes;

Please be aware that there are some exemptions that apply and therefore careful consideration of the facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged discrimination needs to be undertaken before a complaint is made.

In New South Wales you have 1 year from the date of the alleged discriminatory act to file a discrimination complaint with the Anti-Discrimination Board in Sydney.  Once a complaint is made, the Board will arrange a conference to see if the matter can be resolved prior to formal proceedings commencing.

You can instruct us to prepare file your complaint regardless of whether you are in Sydney or regional New South Wales as all instructions are taken by phone and details confirmed by email.

Alternatively, applications for discrimination can also be commenced in the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), the Fair Work Commission and ultimately be determined by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.  Please note that different time limits apply – for example, a complaint to the AHRC, should be made within 6 months of the date of the discriminatory conduct.

It is important to remember that you do not have to be dismissed from your job to lodge a complaint for discrimination.

Discrimination complaints can resolve in many ways, but some of the inclusions you may be able to ask for include, for example:

  1. compensation – there is no cap on compensation values, although relevant cases are used by the court and commission as a guide to decide a reasonable dollar value;
  2. an apology;
  3. re-training for particular employees; and/or
  4. a review of your employer’s policies and procedures.

Ready to tell us your story?

If you think you’ve been discriminated against at work, then please contact us at Anderson Gray Lawyers for a confidential, no obligation discussion about your situation.

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