What constitutes discrimination?


Determining whether you have experienced discrimination can be tricky, and even harder to prove. Discrimination can occur when applying for a job, as a new employee upon starting work or as an employee during employment. Discrimination occurs in the workplace when an employer takes adverse action against an employee or prospective employee because of a protected attribute. Pregnancy is one of these attributes. Adverse action involves treating the employee differently to other employees or firing, restricting benefits, altering a position to an employer’s detriment or other negative action outlined in the Fair Work Act 2009.

There are some exceptions to this general rule such as if there are inherent requirements of a particular position.

One thing is for sure though, if you are experiencing discrimination, it can have a detrimental affect on your confidence, your performance and your mental and physical health. We suggest you don’t wait to deal with it. Raise the issue with your manager as soon as you can, or access your employer’s grievance policy for guidance as to how to lodge a complaint. However, if you still need support, call the Fair Work Ombudsman or the Human Rights Commission.