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In a workplace, you should always be protected from discrimination and sexual harassment.
What is Discrimination?
Discrimination means treating someone differently because of a particular attribute, such as the person’s age, sex, marital status, religion, skin colour, or disability.
With certain exceptions, it is unlawful for someone to discriminate against you by treating you unfavourably in connection with work. This prohibition applies if you are applying for work, while you are employed at your work, and if you are dismissed.
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment happens if a person engages in unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature with the intention of offending, humiliating or intimidating the other person, in circumstances where a reasonable person would have anticipated the possibility that the other person would be offended, humiliated or intimidated by the sexual conduct.
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
What are my rights if I’ve been discriminated against or sexually harassed?
If you have been discriminated against or sexually harassed at work, you may be able to make a claim to the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland, or to the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Examples of matters that can be dealt with by the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland and/or the Australian Human Rights Commission include:
- discrimination at work
- discrimination when applying for work
- victimisation by an employer at work
- requesting and encouraging discrimination at work
- requesting information at work, or when applying for work, on which unlawful discrimination might be based (for example, asking for your age and religion on a job application)
- sexual harassment at work
- verbal abuse that occurred at work or when applying for work.
How can we help?
If you think you’ve been discriminated against or sexually harassed in the workplace, or you have been accused of discrimination or sexual harassment, we can provide you with expert service, offer advice on your rights, and assist you throughout the claim process.