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When confronting claims of workplace bullying and discrimination, having a  legal defence is paramount. Our team excels in handling these complex situations, providing strategic advice and assertive representation. We focus on a strong defence to achieve the best outcome for employees.

Karena Nicholls

Karena Nicholls

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What is Workplace Discrimination?

Workplace discrimination is where an employee is treated less favourably than another person in a hurtful, degrading, demeaning and unfair manner within the workplace because of reasons such as, but not limited to:

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Family responsibilities
  • Religion

Often, workplace discrimination occurs when an employer takes adverse action (such as dismissing an employee or treating the employee unfairly) based on the above characteristics of the employee.

Am I protected?

Discrimination of an employee by an employer is unlawful. All employees are protected, regardless of their employment status (full-time, part-time, casual etc.)

If you feel you have been discriminated against by your employer, you may be able to initiate a claim against them with the Fair Work Commission or Ombudsman. We recommend obtaining legal advice to receive accurate information about workplace discrimination and your own personal circumstances.

I have been dismissed due to discriminatory grounds, what can I do?

There are both statutory and common law remedies avenues available. If you believe you have been terminated based on discriminatory grounds, you will need to lodge an application with the Fair Work Commission within 21 days.

What is workplace bullying?

Workplace bullying is repeated, and unreasonable behaviour directed towards an employee or a group of employees that creates a risk to their health and safety. This could include intimidation, humiliation, or victimisation of an employee.

Everyone has the right to work in an environment free from bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence. Protections are provided to employees under state and federal anti-discrimination law as well as under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). Employees who may have experienced discrimination and/or bullying in the workplace should seek advice regarding the options available to them.

Bullying should not be confused with reasonable action taken by management, such as disciplinary action, control over the way in which work is carried out and decisions about performance.

Am I protected?

Anti-bullying laws cover most workplaces, and therefore, most employees. It also covers volunteers, contractors, work experience students and outworkers.

I feel as though I have been bullied, who can I contact?

If you have been bullied or harassed, you could reach out to the appropriate internal manager or human resources department within the organisation you work in. If matters are not resolved internally or you wish to take matters further, you could obtain legal advice and lodge an application with the Fair Work Commission.

Book Your Workplace Bullying & Discrimination Consultation Now

What to Expect with Coutts Lawyers

Step 1: Initial Contact

Reach out to Coutts Lawyers via our website, phone, or in person. Briefly describe your matter.

Step 2: Consultation Appointment

Schedule and attend a meeting with a Coutts lawyer / Conveyancer to discuss the specifics of your matter and desired outcomes.

Step 3: Information & Legal Advice

Share all related documents and information. Your lawyer / Conveyancer will review everything, clarify aspects as needed, and then advise on the best action course.

Step 4: Action Plan Development

Based on the advice, an appropriate action plan will be formulated. This may involve communication, documentation processes, or further legal steps.

Step 5: Implementation

Execute the action plan, addressing a range of legal scenarios as necessary.

Step 6: Resolution & Closure

Navigate towards a resolution, with the path determined by the nature of the matter. Your Lawyer / Conveyancer will outline any final actions or considerations.

Introducing Karena

Your Compassionate Lawyer

Meet Karena, a Partner at Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers, and the head of our esteemed Injury Compensation and Employment Law teams. With over two decades of experience in the field of Insurance Law, Karena’s passion, dedication, and client-focused approach have established her as a leading authority in compensation and employment law.

Karena Nicholls - Employment Expert
Karena Nicholls - Employment Expert

Connect with Karena Today

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Workplace Bullying & Discrimination FAQ’s

Workplace discrimination is when an employee faces unfavourable treatment due to characteristics such as race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, family responsibilities, or religion. Discriminatory actions might range from unfair treatment to outright dismissal.

Yes, it’s unlawful to discriminate against an employee. Every employee, irrespective of their employment status (whether full-time, part-time, or casual), is safeguarded. If you believe you have been discriminated against, you may have grounds to lodge a claim with the Fair Work Commission or Ombudsman.

Workplace bullying refers to repeated, unreasonable behaviours directed towards an employee or a group, creating a risk to their health and safety. Such behaviours might encompass intimidation, humiliation, or victimisation. However, it does not include reasonable management actions, such as performance evaluations or disciplinary measures.

Most workplaces fall under anti-bullying laws, which protect the vast majority of employees. This also includes volunteers, contractors, work experience students, and outworkers. These protections are rooted in both state and federal anti-discrimination laws, as well as the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

Initially, those affected can report the matter to their internal manager or HR department. If it remains unresolved internally or if the victim wishes to escalate the situation, they should consider seeking legal advice and possibly lodging an application with the Fair Work Commission.

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