Employees throughout Australia are protected from discrimination in the workplace including discriminatory conduct, sexual harassment, and victimisation by various state and federal antidiscrimination laws.
These laws prohibit individuals and employers from discriminating against employees for their protected attributes not limited to their race, colour, sex, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital status, family or carer responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, culture, national extraction or social origin.
In relation to sexual harassment, when you have experienced unwanted sexual approaches, conduct and comments, the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) provides significant safeguards to protect oneself from this behaviour and it is essential that you exercise your discrimination rights and seek advice at the earliest onset.
In relation to racial discrimination, when you have experienced racial comments and conduct regarding your ethnicity or culture, the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) and specifically section 18(c) which prohibits offensive behaviours because of race, colour, national or ethnic origin, provides significant safeguards. However, it is essential that you exercise your discrimination rights and seek advice at the earliest onset.
In relation to disability discrimination, when you have experienced disability comments and conduct regarding your physical and/or mental disabilities , the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), provides significant safeguards. However, it is essential that you exercise your discrimination rights and seek advice at the earliest onset.
In relation to age discrimination , when you have experienced discriminaotry and inapporpriate comments about your age , the Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth) provides significant safegaurds.
Connect Legal has been defending employee rights in relation to discrimination and sexual harassment for nearly two decades and please feel free to contact our office for a discussion.
Please also note you only have 6 months to lodge your discrimination and or sexual harassment claims. Please at your earliest opportunity contact Jake and or Richard at Connect Legal to discuss your discrimination circumstances.
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual behaviour from workplace management and or colleagues , which is likely to offend, humiliate or intimidate an individual.
Examples of sexual harassment may include • inappropriate sexual comments or insults, • sexually explicit and or pornographic emails, notes, pictures, videos etc. • sexually suggestive comments and jokes, • sending sexually explicit texts, • unwelcome physical touching and or feeling your body, • intrusive questions about your private life or body, • staring or leering unnecessarily, • making unwelcome sexual comments about work colleagues, • unwanted requests to go out on dates and or requests for sex.
When you have been sexually harassed and victimised at work we would strongly recommend we lodge an application not only against your employer but the named perpetrator(s) and senior management that had first knowledge and just stood silent. When individuals are personally held responsible for their actions this is what really can change the workplace culture.
Where individuals denigrate and ridicule yourself because of your ethnicity, race and culture. • Where individuals provide you unfavourable treatment and make hurtful comment about your religion and beliefs. • Where individuals regularly make inappropriate and hurtful comments about your heritage, birthplace and/or nation of origin.
The definition of 'disability’ used in the Act is broad and includes physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory, neurological and learning disabilities. It also includes physical disfigurement and the presence in the body of disease-causing organisms, e.g cancer.
Pregnancy discrimination happens when a female is treated less favourably than another person because she is pregnant or because she may become pregnant. For example, it would be direct pregnancy discrimination if an employer refused to employ a woman because she was pregnant or because she may become pregnant.
Family responsibilities discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably than another person because they have family responsibilities. Under the Sex Discrimination Act, family responsibilities include responsibilities to care for or support a dependent child or a member of your immediate family. Working parents need flexibility to cater for their family and parental needs and if you have experienced this , please contact our office for a no obligation discussion.
We regularly receive inquiries from females when falling pregnant and all of a sudden their position is made redundant. The employer will always allege it is for operational reasons and will use various business indicia to validate their decision. However , where there has been no thorough consultation it seems odd and your pregnancy is an underlying reason for the termination. We would strongly recommend to lodge a discrimination claim and we connect help you in safeguarding your rights.
Age discrimination regrettably still occurs, and employers and senior managers do make unnecessary comments about a person's age instead of only focusing on one skill set and experience. If you face age discrimination please contact our office.
I work in a very senior role in a financial institution and even though we have very strong policies and regular training on workplace discrimination and sexual harassment, over the last 9 months my manager has asked me very personal questions and made comments of a very inappropriate nature ? Please advise
Our advice is straight forward, please prepare a detailed statement regarding the discrimination and sexual harassment allegations and [provide a copy to human resources. Yes we have heard regularly that human resources mainly two the company line (which is not surprising ) and are never helpful. If you feel this way, please contact our office and speak to our team of solicitors and see how we may assist on a no win no fee basis.
Q) “I work within the accounting and advising industry and in January 2018, I went on a period of maternity leave. Recently (September 2019) I rang my employer and said I am coming back to work and they said “Well we shuffled things around. Your job’s been spread amongst others. When you come back, we’ve got another role for you and possibly it’s part-time.” What are my rights? What am I supposed to do?”
A) One of the most important aspects of taking parental leave is ensuring that you keep regular written contact with your employer and outline to them the commencement date of your leave and your proposed return date. Under division 5 of the National Employment Standards, you may have an entitlement to parental leave and section 74 has requirements in relation to notice and evidence of your start and end dates of that leave. Under section 83, if the employer makes a decision that would significantly affect your employment status, for example a transfer of employment position or a change from full-time to part-time, they are required to consult with you prior to affecting any change. Under section 84, if you have complied with all the requirements under division 5, you will have a return to work guarantee where you are entitled to return to your pre-parental leave position, or if that position no longer exists, an available position for which you are qualified and suited nearest to the status and pay of your pre-parental leave position.
We initially lodge your discrimination claim at the AHRC and if we are unsuccessful in resolving it we then have 60 days to lodge it at the Federal Circuit and Federal Court. We then prepare a detailed statement of claim articulating your discrimination allegations and seek both economic and non economic damages.
Connect Legal and its team of solicitors and barristers has assisted many employees in defending their discrimination (age, disability and race) and sexual harassment claims at the Federal Circuit Court. Recently we helped Ms. Eastman in a landmark decision at the Federal Circuit Court and were even awarded costs. Please see our judgements page. Indeed progressing discrimination matters through the Federal Circuit Court requires the completion of a very detailed statement of claim and attaching applicable evidence of the allegations, doctors reports and other materials. The statement of claim is fundamental and it is essential it complies with the court rules and properly particularises your claim. Please feel free to contact our office before embarking on any action within the courts and we can undertake the legal work on a no win no fee basis.
Our legal services will be undertaken on a No Win No Fee basis as has been the case from inception when we commenced defending employee rights in the late 90s. We will provide a written costs agreement outlining our No Win No Fee policy and will provide an estimate of the applicable fees.