How Is Discrimination In The Workplace Defined? And How To Deal With It In Australia?

April 5, 2024    Employment Lawyers
How Is Discrimination In The Workplace Defined? And How To Deal With It In Australia?

Despite globalization and the numerous milestones reached when it comes to uplifting and respecting diverse identities, workplace discrimination in Australia still remains a rampant issue. Prejudice still finds itself in the conduct and treatment of some employees, which can lead to extremely unpleasant working experiences. In severe cases, discrimination can even prove to be injurious and have a debilitating impact on the lives of workers.


This article covers everything you need to know about workplace discrimination in Australia and the steps you can take to seek justice.


What is workplace discrimination?

Discrimination is the mitigation of unjust, biased and prejudiced treatment of someone based on a part or parts of their identity. The Fair Work Act requires companies to uphold a safe and equitable working experience for all employees in Australia. This makes any discriminatory practice unlawful. Any employment lawyer in Perth will tell you that it can count as discrimination if an employee is mistreated based on the following attributes:

  • Race
  • Sex
  • Gender Identity
  • Colour
  • Intersex status
  • Age
  • Religion
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Breastfeeding
  • Pregnancy
  • Social status and origin
  • Political opinions
  • Marital status
  • Family responsibilities
  • Nationality
  • Experience of domestic violence or abuse in the family

If your employer or colleagues treat you negatively based on the above criteria, it is an act of discrimination. In that case, you are within your rights to retaliate and seek the help of the best workplace discrimination lawyers to help you gain justice.


What is adverse action?

If, on the basis of the clauses mentioned above, your employer or workspace environment does any of the following, it counts as adverse action:

  • Dismiss you
  • Injure you
  • Alter your position or demote you
  • Give preferential treatment to others over you
  • Refuse to hire you
  • Have discriminatory terms and conditions in your contract

All of the above are violations of the Fair Work Act and are punishable by law. When prejudicial or discriminatory beliefs translate into actions that limit, make difficult or create barriers to opportunities in the workplace, they fall under adverse action. Talking to the best employment lawyer in Perth in such situations is necessary to redress and protect yourself lawfully.


What Steps Can You Take If You’ve Faced Workplace Discrimination?

In the situation where you have experienced discrimination at the hands of your employer or your coworkers, you can report your grievance to the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), which is the committee responsible for protecting employees from unlawful discrimination in Australia.


They will investigate the workplace and check for adverse action practices when informed of such cases. Once your claims are confirmed with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, they can order injunctions, compensations and reinstatements for the employees.


It is necessary to have Perth employment lawyers represent you during this so that you can present your case with the utmost clarity and precision. Proper representation can confirm your claims more efficiently, improving your chances of getting an early justice.


For example, suppose you’ve been laid off by your employers without notice on the basis of your gender identity, race, color and the other clauses mentioned. In that case, you should contact the Fair Workers Commission to look into the matter along with your lawyer. You can do this through the Fair Work government website.


In certain cases, such as bullying and other interpersonal discriminatory practices, the FWO does not have the juridical power to intervene. In such cases, affected employees must reach out to the Australian Human Rights Commission. Any other anti-discriminatory body, union or organization in your territory or state can also help.


Summing up

Workplace discrimination is equitable to harassment and needs strict measures and action against it. Despite the sensitization of people, many discriminatory and prejudiced mindsets still prevail. Being on the receiving end of such violence can completely rob workers of their will and motivation. Additionally, it creates a potentially unsafe and dangerous environment in the workplace.


The best employment lawyers in Perth WA, are well-trained and experienced in dealing with sensitive and oppressive matters like workplace discrimination.

Contact the top workplace discrimination lawyers in Perth to support you through these difficult times so that you can get the justice you deserve.

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