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Discrimination and harassment at work

Discrimination

Discrimination is treating someone unfairly because they happen to belong to a particular group of people. Most of us have prejudices against, or negative views of, groups of people who are different from ourselves. If we aren't careful, these feelings can easily lead us to discriminate against people who belong to those groups.

In New South Wales many types of discrimination are against the law. The laws dealing with discrimination help give everyone in New South Wales an equal opportunity or a 'fair go'.

What types of discrimination are against the law in New South Wales?

The following types of discrimination are against the law:

Carers responsibilities

When you are discriminated against because you need to care for or support a child or other 'immediate family member'.

Sex Discrimination

When you are treated unfairly or harassed either because you are a woman or because you are a man. Discrimination against a woman because she is pregnant can also be sex discrimination. Sexual harassment is also against the law.

Race Discrimination

When you are treated unfairly or harassed because of your race, colour, ethnic background, ethno-religious background, descent or nationality.

Age Discrimination

When you are treated unfairly or harassed because of your age - for example, because people think you are too old, too young or too middle aged. Forcing people to retire at the old retirement age is also against the law.

Marital Status Discrimination

When you are treated unfairly or harassed because of your particular marital status, for example, because you are single, or married, or living in a de facto relationship.

Homosexual or Lesbian Discrimination

When you are treated unfairly or harassed because you are gay or lesbian, or someone thinks you are gay or lesbian.

Disability Discrimination

When you are treated unfairly or harassed because you have a disability, or someone thinks you have a disability. It is also against the law to treat you unfairly or harass you because you had a disability in the past, or because you will or may get one in the future. Disability includes physical, intellectual and psychiatric disabilities, learning and emotional disorders, and any organism capable of causing disease (for example, infectious diseases and HIV/AIDS).

Transgender Discrimination

When you are treated unfairly or harassed because you are transgender, or others think you are transgender. You are counted as transgender if you live or seek to live as a member of the opposite gender (sex) to your birth gender.

Discrimination because of who you are related to, or who you associate with

When you are treated unfairly or harassed because of the sex, race, age, marital status, homosexuality/lesbianism, transgender (transsexuality) or disability of one of your relatives, friends or work colleagues.

If you are being discriminated against you can contact the Anti-Discrimination Board for advice: http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/adb [Anti Discrimination Board homepage]


 

Copyright © 2011 Money Stuff

An initiative from NSW Fair Trading

 

Last Updated: 26 November 2012

Page URL: http://www.moneystuff.net.au/infopage?id=gf66czdq

This information must not be relied upon as legal advice. For more information about this topic, refer to the appropriate legislation.

© State of New South Wales through NSW Fair Trading
You may freely copy, distribute, display or download this information with some important restrictions. See NSW Fair Trading's copyright policy at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or email publications@services.nsw.gov.au