Discrimination and Unlawful Termination
It is illegal to be discriminated against or sacked on the basis of race, sex, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin.
It is unlawful to terminate an employee for a discriminatory reason.
It also unlawful to terminate an employee because of:
- temporary absence from work due to illness or injury (up to 3 months)
- trade union membership or non-membership
- participation in ordinary and legal union activities (such as being an employee representative)
- taking parental leave or community leave
- for making a complaint against your employer or participating in proceedings against your employer
If you have experienced discrimination at work or have been sacked unlawfully, you can lodge a complaint with either Fair Work Australia or another appropriate Tribunal.
Harrassment and Bullying
It is against the law for anyone to harass you or discriminate against you at work or when you are seeking work because of your sex, race, colour sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction, social origin or because you are temporarily absent from work because of an illness or injury. It is also against the law for a worker to sexually harass another person in the workplace.
If you believe you have been harassed or discriminated against, you should contact:
- your local AWU branch
- the Fair Work Ombudsman
- your employer or human resources manager
- an equal opportunity officer or grievance manager
- Fair Work Australia
- an equal opportunity or anti-discrimination body in your state
It is also against the law for a worker to be bullied in the workplace. Bullying is behaviour or language that can scare, degrade or humiliate somebody.
If you believe you have been bullied, you should contact us or the occupational health and safety body in your state or territory.