Sexual harassment in the workplace has been under discussion lately with the recent allegations about Don Burke in the news. Discussions surrounding the recent news has been a timely reminder to all Australian workers about the dangers of sexual harassment in the workplace. It is important for all employees and employers to be aware of sexual harassment and what actually constitutes sexual harassment. Everyone has the legal right to work in a safe environment, free of discrimination and sexual harassment. Sexual harassment laws in Australia exist to protect peoples rights and prevent unfair treatment of employees. Our lawyers at Cairns Employment Lawyers are dedicated to protecting the legal rights of employees and employers in Far North Queensland!
What is sexual harassment?
While there are some differences across Australian states, sexual harassment laws in Australia are considered some of the best in the world. Sexual harassment occurs when a person engages in unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature with the intention of offending, humiliating or intimidating the other person. The particular circumstances of the person harassed needs to be taken into account when considering sexual harassment in the workplace. For example, one would need to consider the person's age, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic background. Some examples of sexual harassment include:
- Inappropriate physical contact, such as patting, pinching or touching in a sexual way
- Unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing against a person
- Unwelcome and uncalled for sexual remarks or insinuations about a person's sex or private life
- Suggestive comments about a person's appearance or body
- Indecent exposure
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Unwelcome requests for sexual favours
Action to take
As an employee or employer, you have a legal right to work in a safe environment, free of sexual harassment or discrimination. If you think that you have been discriminated or sexually harassed at work, contact a Lawyer such as Cairns Employment and Workplace Lawyers. We can provide you with expert legal advice and service and assist you through the claim process. Your Lawyer can advise you if you are eligible to make a claim to the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland, or to the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Our friendly team of Lawyers will consider a number of factors when considering how best to find a resolution to the situation. Sometimes, the dispute can be resolved within the workplace, however, there are times where the dispute has progressed to a stage where that’s no longer an option. In this case, your Lawyer may advise you to bring the complaint to an external body, such as the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Contact us at Cairns Workplace and Employment Lawyers for advice!
Ph 4052 0700