Racial Discrimination & Victimization

Racial discrimination is when a person is treated less favorably than another person in a similar situation because of their race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin, or immigrant status.

Racial discrimination is when a person is treated less favorably than another person in a similar situation because of their race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin, or immigrant status.

Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 states as follows

It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if:


                     (a)  The act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate, or intimidate another person or a group of people; and


                     (b)  The act is done because of the race, color, or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group.   


Employees are protected from discrimination at all stages of employment including recruitment, workplace terms and conditions, and dismissal. 

Examples of racial discrimination

* Making offensive comments regarding one's culture and or ethnicity such as "go back to your own country, you do not belong here", " your race is taking all our jobs”

* Calling nicknames regarding one's culture and ethnicity and comments about one's skin color;

* Denying a promotion to an employee and saying words to the effect  "your kind will never move up here in this organization";

* Insisting that all employees speak English at all times, even during their breaks;

* Unfair treatment in the course of work on the basis of race such as subjecting employees to negative comments about their race.

All types of employers and employment relationships are covered under the RDA, including Commonwealth Government employees, state government employees, private sector employees, full-time, part-time, and casual employees, contract workers, and commission agents, as well as apprentices, trainees, and those on probation.

Direct discrimination happens when a person is treated less favorably than another person in a similar situation because of his or her race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin, or immigrant status.

Indirect discrimination can be less obvious. It can happen when employers or service providers put in place conditions, requirements, or practices that appear to treat everyone the same but which actually disadvantage some people because of their race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin, or immigrant status.

One important question is who is ultimately liable for the acts of racial discrimination that an individual has experienced. The perpetrator is personally liable and we can maintain an action against him personally. Under the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 (CTH) employers may be vicariously liable if an employee commits racial discrimination and the employer did not take all reasonable steps to prevent the employee from doing these acts.

Connect Legal and its team of solicitors is very experienced and knowledgeable in prosecuting racial discrimination claims at the Australian Human Rights Commission, the relevant State Tribunals, the Federal Court, and Federal Circuit Court.

The process of prosecuting a claim needs extensive interviews, listening to all the detailed allegations, and preparing comprehensive factual and legal submissions.

Indeed, where many aggrieved individuals become unstuck is when their matter cannot resolve at the Australian Human Rights Commission, and accessing the Federal Circuit Court is required.

Connect legal is one of the very few employment and discrimination who have acted for multiple clients at the Federal Circuit Court and obtained fair and reasonable settlements.

We understand the court process, the pleadings, the statement of claims required, and how both the facts and law must flow together in successfully prosecuting a sexual harassment claim.

Connect Legal has been defending employee rights in relation to discrimination and racial discrimination for over two decades please feel free to contact our office(02-98892239)  for a discussion.

We can also travel closer to your home and or workplace if required.

Our work is also undertaken on a no-win no fee basis and a written costs agreement will be provided prior to any work being undertaken.

Your former employer has breached the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 by making these insensitive comments about your culture and race. In relation to comments about your Islamic faith, this is religious discrimination and the Australian Human Rights Commission will also investigate these very serious allegations. Connect Legal is very experienced both at the Human Rights Commission level and more importantly at the Federal Circuit Court stage where all your work will be undertaken on a no-win no fee basis. Please call our office for further help.

Comments about your Polynesian / Maori culture and race are highly discriminatory under the Racial Discrimination Act. No one can be ridiculed about their heritage, color o skin, and ethnicity, and defending your discrimination rights is essential. Please ring Connect Legal and speak to Jake and Richard for further help.

Comments about your Samoan culture and race are highly discriminatory under the Racial Discrimination Act. No one can be ridiculed about their heritage, color o skin, and ethnicity, and defending your discrimination rights is essential. Please ring Connect Legal and speak to Jake and Richard for further help.

Connect Legal regularly receives calls from senior software and technology engineers within the ICT fields and many of them are highly qualified with a master's and some even have MBA qualifications. Regarding unethical behavior, this should not be occurring and this is a clear breach of the corporations' law and the Australian Competition and Consumer laws. Regarding racial vilification and victimization, this is abhorrent. No one’s employment should be judged by their culture, ethnicity or race and your current manager’s behavior needs to stop straight away. Sometimes writing a letter to HR may work, but our experience has been that HR generally takes the side of the employers and says you can’t prove your allegations. This is where the services of Connect Legal are necessary to defend and safeguard your employment and discrimination rights and only by being proactive and lodging an application with the Human Rights Commission may your current manager cease their behavior.

Racial and religious discrimination is abhorrent and inquiries like yours have been very common over the years. No one should be ridiculed for their faith and religious beliefs. The comments regarding your culture and race are blatant breaches of the Race Discrimination Act and our strong advice would be to lodge a claim with the AHRC. What is essential is teamwork between yourself and your team of solicitors who are very experienced and knowledgeable in this area. Connect Legal is prepared to undertake your work on a no-win no fee basis and will travel out to see you within the next 48 hours.

Over the last 2 decades, on a regular and systematic basis, we have received calls from employees who are of Middle Eastern heritage and Islamic faith and when our solicitors hear about our client’s experiences, it is very disturbing. No employer, manager, or supervisor has the right to denigrate anyone for their culture, race, and/or religion. In these very complex situations, the only sensible solution forward is to safeguard your employment rights and assign a solicitor to program your matter through the Australian Human Rights Commission and if unsuccessful, through the Federal Circuit Court. Please contact our team on 02 9889 2239 and we will arrange a face-to-face interview within 48 hours.

One is a dismissal-related claim and one is a claim to say that during your employment period, you have been racially discriminated against or vilified, or experienced racial hatred. For the latter, you can file a human rights complaint at the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). However, you always need to be wary that there is currently a six-month limitation period for filing Human Rights complaints with the AHRC and if you file a claim outside of the six-month period, the commission may terminate your complaint on that basis. The six-month limitation period commenced when the contravening conduct occurred. In the alternative, you also need to be wary that if you are filing a general protections case, sections 725 – 734 of the Fair Work Act 2009 prevent you from filing multiple actions for the same cause of action, however so long as there is a clear difference between your dismissal and the preceding conduct, which may be for example race discrimination, disability discrimination or sexual harassment then add to your dismissal claim at Fair Work, you can also file a complaint with the AHRC. Finally, at the AHRC’s discretion, if you have filed two separate claims, the AHRC may terminate your human rights complaint on the basis that it was already the subject of conciliation at the Fair Work Commission and whilst you can continue with this claim in the Federal Court jurisdiction, you will require the leave of the court.

Indeed, it is much more beneficial that an individual who has experienced racial discrimination does raise allegations in writing to the business’ Human Resources department and more importantly senior management. Our experience through the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Federal Circuit Court is that employers regularly say “she never made the complaint, so it never occurred” or “she made the complaints after her termination through her lawyers” or “because she never complained she has no credibility and the alleged acts have not occurred.” The Race Discrimination Act does not specify that for a successful prosecution of a racial discrimination claim that an aggrieved individual has to make a written or verbal complaint to management and/or HR. Of the numerous calls that we receive, individuals on the majority of occasions have not raised the issues of racial discrimination either verbally and/or in writing, but this has never precluded our firm from procuring very successful non-financial and financial resolutions through the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Federal Circuit Court and/or the Federal Court.

It is unfortunate that conduct like what you have explained is not uncommon in the workplace and we regularly receive inquiries where female employees are harassed in the workplace and unable to speak up for fear that they will face further harassment and discrimination or lose their jobs. However, now that the conduct is starting to seriously affect your mental health and well-being, the first step may be to seek the advice of your doctor and/or psychologist and take a period of personal leave to focus on your mental health and provide your employer with copies of the medical certificates for the period of your leave. Second, it may be time to take action to cease the conduct. As you have already expressed to the owner of the business that the conduct is unwelcome and it has not ceased, you may need to lodge a claim for sexual harassment at the Australian Human Rights Commission and you can do this whilst still employed. Connect Legal can assist you with lodging a claim and ensuring your employment and discrimination rights are protected.

The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their race, color, national origin, or ethnic origin. All employers and employment relationships are covered under the Act. What you have described is direct discrimination on the basis of your race and national and ethnic origin and it is saddening that conduct like this is still so prevalent in workplaces, especially in Australia where we pride ourselves on being culturally diverse. Employers have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent racial discrimination and ensure employees work in a safe environment free from discrimination, harassment, and bullying. It is also unlawful to victimize a person for complaining about discrimination and your employer’s comments telling you to “if you don’t like it you can leave and even go back home” may be seen as victimization. Over the years, Connect Legal has assisted people who have experienced extreme racial discrimination Australia-wide by lodging a claim for racial discrimination at the Australian Human Rights Commission. By lodging a complaint, perhaps your employer will implement work health and safety and discrimination and harassment training, and other policies and procedures to prevent future employees from experiencing discrimination and harassment.

There is no question that what you have regrettably experienced is racial discrimination it’s contrary to the racial discrimination act 1975, but it is essential that we have in-depth interviews and understand each and every word and behavior that your ex-boss has made about your Iranians culture heritage race and Islamic faith. Unfortunately, there are still various employees and managers who are within the Australian business community that make these very hurtful Volga comments about someone’s cultural identity and race. Indeed many decades of experience are shown at the first line of defense they will use is deny, I deny saying those words, I never said I deny ever making those comments, I’m a very good hard-working individual I would never make those comments. Yes, the burden of proof does rest on your shoulders and when there is documentary proof and or witnesses, it does create many more challenges. But we slowly need to nudge at this to find a fair resolution, firstly at the Australian Human Rights Commission and then at the Federal circuit court. Yes, there is always this fear of not being believed but look at it from another viewpoint if you did nothing about this hurtful Volga behavior you let the perpetrators get away with it. Life is shown many examples of various individuals and cultures who have never given up on just cause and you need to have that same mentality that one day the truth will come through. But yet again it’s all about having a strong team to support you, from family, friends and experienced solicitors. Connect Legal is one of the Few and employment and discrimination law firms in Australia wise who is vastly experienced in discrimination law racial discrimination and sexual harassment. When you have a one-on-one interview with the senior lawyers you will understand and feel that vast experience and knowledge and the importance of a very in-depth and sometimes intense question-and-answer dialog.

We understand your predicament, and in the significant number of racism matters we’ve assisted with, we’ve always come across this dilemma that fellow colleagues aren’t prepared to give you a written statement. However, this should not compromise your position in lodging a racial discrimination claim and our experiences have shown that if we can prepare a comprehensive statement and ensure the facts are correct, in the medium-long run, your racism claim will all into place and your manager and employer will understand the hurt it has caused you. Finally, it’s all about storytelling, please ring our team for a discussion.

The court can award damages for your economic loss, as long as you can establish a causal link between the unlawful sexual harassment and the economic loss that is alleged to flow from the conduct. For example, if you resign from your employment and are subsequently unemployed because of sexual harassment or your employer’s inability to investigate the conduct, you can seek to be paid an economic loss for the period of unemployment or for example, any demotion in your employment position. Economic loss can be sought for both past economic loss and future economic loss, for example where you are unfit for work to provide a significant period because of the conduct. Finally, economic loss can also include any losses you incurred for medical, pharmaceutical, or other related expenses such as the cost of seeing a medical professional. General damages refer to any alleged loss or damage for hurt, humiliation, and any injury suffered because of the conduct. Usually, an Applicant or victim would file a Medico-Legal Report by either a psychologist or psychiatrist which would evidence of any loss and damage.

Aggravated damages are awarded where the perpetrator’s conduct is especially vicious or heinous and aggravated in some form. For example, the conduct may be repetitive and continue unabated even where the victim has requested that the conduct cease. Exemplary or punitive damages are often confused with aggravated damages. The difference is that exemplary damages are generally ordered to punish the wrong-doer and to deter the conduct in the future. Exemplary damages are not compensatory in nature and are only imposed in very limited circumstances․

Connect Legal decades has diligently and quietly defended and safeguarded our client's employment and discrimination rights. The word " fight" conjures up images of undue stress and complexities and we wholeheartedly condemn the use of this word in legal literature. Connect Legal's philosophy is about defending and safeguarding client rights, which required discipline, diligence, and extensive tea work. Yes, results make take more time, but the landmark judgments we have obtained within the owner-driver area, sham contracting, and disability discrimination were because of our unique philosophy. Please see our judgment page.

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.