Discrimination at work
If you think you've been discriminated at work or while applying for a job, there are laws to protect you.
What is discrimination?
Discrimination refers to a situation in which you are treated unfairly because of who you are or what you stand for.
Under the law, an employer cannot discriminate against you because of any of the following:
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
- Religious belief or activity
- Political belief or activity
- Marital status
- Industrial activities (or lack of industrial activity)
- Race or colour
- Pregnancy or breastfeeding
- Parental status
- Carer status
- Disability or impairment
- Physical features
- Personal association with someone who has, or is assumed to have, one of the above personal characteristics
Discrimination in employment can take many forms, including:
- Being sacked from your job
- Interference in your ability to do your job
- Changing your job role to your disadvantage
- Treating you differently from other employees
- Refusing to employ you
- Being offered different terms and conditions from others doing the same job
There are both state and federal agencies that can assist you in taking action if you believe you have been discriminated against.
The first thing you should do is get some advice. Speak with an expert from one of the following organisations - they will be able to recommend the next steps.
- The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (new window) offers a free telephone advice service and receives complaints
- Job Watch (new window) specialises in issues for workers in Victoria, and offers free and confidential advice
- The Australian Human Rights Commission (new window) works to protect and promote the human rights of all people in Australia.
- The Fair Work Ombudsman (new window) gives advice and helps people understand their workplace rights and responsibilities.
For more information about discrimination and harassment, check out our Discrimination and harassment page.