Australian anti-discrimination law requires that all employees not be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race, parental responsibilities and numerous other attributes. Australia’s prosperity depends upon “all hands on deck”.
McDonald Murholme assist employers to implement and manage anti-discrimination laws.
McDonald Murholme assist Australian employees to assert their rights against hurtful and illegal discrimination.
What Is Workplace Discrimination and Who Is Responsible for Discrimination in the Workplace?
Workplace discrimination occurs when employees or workers are mistreated due to certain, sometimes immutable, attributes. Discrimination can affect a person’s performance in their role, as well as their wider health and well-being.
In Australia, it is the responsibility of each employer to prevent workplace discrimination.
What do Courts and Lawyers Have to Say About Workplace Discrimination?
In our home state of Victoria, there is long-standing support for what the Supreme Court calls the right to “quiet employment”.
Victorian Supreme Court Justice Nathan had this to say in the case of R V Equal Opportunity Board; ex parte Burns  VR 317:
“a benefit of employment is the entitlement to quiet employment, that is, the freedom of physical intrusion, the freedom from being harassed”.
At McDonald Murholme, we echo this sentiment wholeheartedly. If you are a victim of discrimination, our workplace discrimination lawyers can work with you to determine if your employer has breached the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic).
What Workplace discrimination is unlawful?
Over the last 30 years the reach of the law in the area of discrimination has been enormous. Correctly applied, the law prohibits discrimination and bullying and McDonald Murholme has lead the field in preventing sexual discrimination, political discrimination, race discrimination, age discrimination, marital-status discrimination, parental carer discrimination, disability discrimination and whistleblower discrimination.
Put simply in the words of Justic Howard-Nathan in 1985: “a benefit of employment is the entitlement to quiet employment, that is, the freedom of physical intrusion, the freedom from being harassed”.
How Can I Lodge a Workplace Discrimination Claim?
There are many pathways that your workplace discrimination claim may take. These claims are multi-faceted and may be lodged with the Fair Work Commission or other courts and tribunals, VCAT, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
To determine the best course of action, it is best to seek legal advice from our employment discrimination lawyers. McDonald Murholme is headquartered in Melbourne, but we proudly serve clients from across Australia. Whether you need discrimination lawyers in Sydney, Brisbane, or beyond, we are available to assist you.
Contact Our Employment Discrimination Lawyers in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane and Across Australia
Whether you’re an employee or an employer, McDonald Murholme is here for you. Our dedicated new enquiries offices are here to put you on the correct pathway and help you take the first steps in your discrimination matter.
Get in touch with the employment lawyer who has acted for thousands of employees like you.
efficient and affordable service which is highly personalised.
The McDonald Murholme team is headed by Mr Alan McDonald.Contact Us
The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee or prospective employee because of a physical or mental disability. This applies to full-time, part-time, casual employees, probationary employees, apprentices and trainees.
Being treated differently is not necessarily discrimination. The dismissal, or refusal to employ, must be done because of the mental or physical disability.
If you feel that you have been discriminated against because of a mental or physical disability, McDonald Murholme can assist you by providing fast, efficient and effective legal advice.
While some treatment may be classed as discrimination, it does not necessarily mean that it is prohibited. The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) provides three circumstances in which the treatment is permitted:
- If it is permitted by anti-discrimination laws. For instance, an employer may take special measures to hire employees with specific underrepresented attributes;
- If the employee cannot meet the inherent requirements of the position; and
- A religious institution undertook the action to avoid injury to the members of that religion.
If you are unsure about your rights then you should immediately seek legal advice.
The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) prohibits an employee from being discriminated against because of their political opinion, recognising the right to freedom of expression.
If you feel that you have been discriminated against because of your political opinion then you should speak to McDonald Murholme for legal advice and a legal strategy.
Holding a criminal record is not listed as a protected attribute in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) which may mean that an employer can refuse employment based on a criminal record.
However, the Australian Human Rights Commission Regulations now include ‘irrelevant criminal activity’ as a protected attribute. Discrimination against an employee or prospective employee for holding an irrelevant criminal record will now be deemed unlawful.
If you are a current employee and have been dismissed due to an irrelevant criminal record then you may also be entitled to bring an action for unfair dismissal.
For further legal advice and a potential legal strategy, you should speak to an employment lawyer.
“The McDonald Murholme staff made me feel so comfortable, they provided me with great advice and helped me reach an outcome that I was very… more
“The McDonald Murholme staff made me feel so comfortable, they provided me with great advice and helped me reach an outcome that I was very happy with.”
“Thank you, Edward, Alan and the team. Your support throughout the journey was outstanding. I cannot recommend you enough. I could not be happier. Thank… more
“Thank you, Edward, Alan and the team. Your support throughout the journey was outstanding. I cannot recommend you enough. I could not be happier. Thank you again.”
“Alan and Stephanie were able to turn my workplace nightmare into a financially rewarding experience that I would never have been able to achieve without… more
“Alan and Stephanie were able to turn my workplace nightmare into a financially rewarding experience that I would never have been able to achieve without their knowledge and assistance. I am so grateful for the exit strategy they managed to negotiate for me to enable me to move on to a much better opportunity. Huge thanks to all the team at McDonald Murholme for the great work you all do.”
“Alan, Ned and the team at McDonald Murholme took a genuine interest in my situation. Their advice and guidance helped me quickly achieve a fair… more
“Alan, Ned and the team at McDonald Murholme took a genuine interest in my situation. Their advice and guidance helped me quickly achieve a fair settlement from my employer.”
“My need for support from McDonald Murholme came at a time when I was also focussing on a couple of other personal issues - both… more
“My need for support from McDonald Murholme came at a time when I was also focussing on a couple of other personal issues - both significant but unrelated. The support I received from Alan, Stephanie and the team was incredible - I felt supported at every step of the process and was 100% confident that the matter was being dealt with effectively whilst I addressed other things. Most importantly, however, the team were easy to talk to and kept me fully up to date with progress. Hopefully I'll not have a need to use them again but, if I do, I absolutely would NOT hesitate! Last thing for me to say - THANK YOU McDonald Murholme!”
“Alan, Julie and the team at McDonald Murholme helped me through a very stressful time with my employer. Once I contacted and engaged them they… more
“Alan, Julie and the team at McDonald Murholme helped me through a very stressful time with my employer. Once I contacted and engaged them they kept me informed and supported me throughout the journey. They took away my stress, were patient with my many questions and most importantly they empowered me. Highly recommend.”
“Outstanding, clear and concise advice.”
“Deeply compassionate, understanding and supportive, Helped me through a very difficult decision with sage and timely advice.”