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

Queensland has strict laws designed to protect people from discrimination.

DISCRIMINATION

Discrimination law in Queensland is regulated by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld).  In very broad language, discrimination is the less favourable treatment of a person because of an “identifiable attribute”.

Put another way, if you are treated less favourably (than someone without your identifiable attribute) in the workplace because of one or more of the following attributes, then you will have been discriminated against at work.

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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 Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission include:

  • 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) relationship status (whether a person is single, married, married but separated, divorced, widowed, de facto partner, or civil partner);
  • religious belief or activity (includes not holding a religious belief, and not engaging in lawful religious activity);
  • 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 Queensland, a complainant has 12 months from the alleged discriminatory act to file a discrimination complaint with the Commission in Brisbane.  Once a complaint is made, then the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland will attempt to arrange a conference to see if the matter can be resolved prior to formal proceedings commencing in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.

At Anderson Gray Lawyers, we don’t mind if you reside in Brisbane or out in the regions, we have the resources to take your instructions and consider determine whether you have a claim by taking instructions over the telephone and / or via 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 work to commence a claim 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 claims, although relevant case law is used by the court and commission to determine an appropriate dollar value of compensation;
  2. an apology;
  3. re-training for particular employees; and/or
  4. a review of your employer’s policies and procedures.

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