Every employee has the right to work in a secure atmosphere devoid of harassment, bullying, and discrimination. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination is still very frequent in Australia. Discrimination in the workplace harms the afflicted person’s well-being and work performance, fostering a poor workplace culture.
But what exactly is discrimination in the workplace, and what laws exist to protect employees? We’ll go through how workplace discrimination may happen, the many forms of discrimination, and how to get expert aid in this post. Continue reading to find out more.
What Is Discrimination in The Workplace?
Federal and state law defines discrimination in the workplace as someone being treated less favourably than others or an employer taking unfavourable action against an employee. These characteristics can be subject to workplace bullying or harassment:
- Sexual orientation
- Physical or mental disability
- Marital status
- Political opinion
- National extraction or social origin
Direct vs. Indirect Workplace Discrimination
Direct Workplace Discrimination
Direct employment discrimination is frequently the most visible and overt type of prejudice. This refers to a person’s continued abuse for discriminatory grounds.
Indirect Workplace Discrimination
On the other hand, indirect discrimination is typically less obvious and more difficult to show. An employer establishing criteria or procedures that indirectly penalise someone based on personal qualities is referred to as this type of workplace discrimination.
What Are the Adverse Actions in the Workplace?
In the workplace, adverse action refers to illegal acts taken for discriminatory reasons. Consider the following scenario:
- Refusing to hire
- Changing positions to their disadvantage
- Making a distinction between one employee and another
- Being discriminatory in the terms and circumstances of a job offer
Differentiating treatment is not always illegal discrimination; it is only regarded as unfavourable action if the occurrence happened because of the characteristics above. Unfortunately, your boss’s dislike for you or rudeness isn’t usually unlawful but unethical workplace behaviour.
Workplace Discrimination Laws
Unlawful discrimination is distinguished from unethical discrimination under federal anti-discrimination laws. The Disability Discrimination Act of 1992, the Age Discrimination Act of 2004, the Sex Discrimination Act of 1984, and the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 are all examples.
In addition to these federal court acts, each Australian state and territory has anti-discrimination legislation defining unlawful discrimination. In NSW, for example, the Anti-Discrimination Act of 1977 establishes criteria for job discrimination.
What Can You Do If You Have Been Treated Unfairly At Work?
When confronted with workplace discrimination, an employee’s first step should be to consult with a non-work-related person. This will help them to obtain a better understanding of the issue and determine whether or not what has occurred is, in fact, illegal.
The next step should always be to speak with management about your concerns to resolve the issue internally. If you still want to pursue it, your next step should contact an employment lawyer in Brisbane.
What Can Companies Do To Avoid Workplace Discrimination and Harassment?
Employers are responsible for managing, monitoring, and assisting in avoiding discrimination in the workplace, whether it is perpetrated by themselves or by a coworker.
Employers can take the following steps to ensure that their firm operates legally and efficiently:
- Educate all employees on what discrimination is and how it affects individuals.
- Create a detailed policy against employment discrimination. All managers should model this policy, strictly enforced and revised regularly.
- Instruct supervisors and managers on how to handle allegations of discrimination. All concerns should be treated seriously and dealt with promptly and effectively.
Because employment discrimination is so common, it may appear to be a simple affair to submit a claim if you’ve been subjected to it. However, making a successful lawsuit frequently requires solid proof and extensive legal backing, so engaging with workplace lawyers in Brisbane from the start may significantly impact the outcome of your claim.
Our team of workplace lawyers in Brisbane at Saines Legal are competent and informed in all aspects of employment law. We take a unique approach to each of our clients’ requirements. Do you think you may have experienced workplace discrimination? Contact us today!