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Discrimination in the workplace

There are a number of different sets of laws prohibiting discrimination and unfair treatment at work that operate to protect workers.

What is unlawful discrimination?

Unlawful discrimination occurs when a person treats another less favourably because of a specific quality or attribute. The specific qualities and attributes protected by law include a person’s race, sex, pregnancy or marital status, religion, sexual preference, age, disability, family or carer’s responsibilities and/or political opinion.

Sexual harassment (that is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature) is generally considered to be a form of sex discrimination.

Are there any time limits?

There are very strict time limits for the commencement of a claim alleging discrimination. A general protections application that led to the termination of employment (for example termination on the grounds of race), must be commenced within 21 days of termination.

A claim in the Australian Human Rights Commission must be brought within 6 months of the discriminatory treatment that is the subject of the complaint.

You should however contact us as soon as possible to prevent such discriminatory conduct.


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