Workplace Discrimination Lawyers

Every person employed in Australia is entitled to a work environment that is free from discrimination. It is the employer’s responsibility to prevent this type of harm from taking place. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and many employees find themselves being treated less favourably in the workplace because of a particular attribute they have. Often these attributes are something people cannot change. This behaviour may not only affect a person’s health and wellbeing but may also lead to performance issues in their role.

The Supreme Court of Victoria has long supported that every employee has the right to quiet employment. Justice Nathan held in the case of R v Equal Opportunity Board; ex parte Burns [1985] VR 317 that a ‘benefit of employment is the entitlements to quiet employment, that is, the freedom of physical intrusion, the freedom from being harassed’. We also believe that employees should be entitled to this benefit, and where it is breached by their employer, they should find themselves in potential contravention of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic).

Pursuing a discrimination claim is multi-faceted and can be dealt with by several dispute resolution bodies. This may include the Fair Work Commission, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. It is best to seek legal advice to determine which avenue is best suited to handle your claim.

The particular attributes protected from discrimination are extensive, including but not limited to gender, age or pregnancy.

Our clients' satisfaction is pivotal to our own success.

  • July 2020

    I wouldn't hesitate to recommend McDonald Murholme. From the initial consultation, right through to the resolution process, the entire team was supportive, knowledgable and approachable and made what can be a difficult situation much easier. Specifically Trent and Alexandra provided a high level of service, and engaged with me in a very personable manner. I am extremely satisfied with the service I received.
  • July 2020

    I couldn't recommend the team from McDonald Murholme more. Mr Sam Nottle was efficient, professional and achieved a wonderful result. If you are questioning whether to go ahead with an employment matter legally, I would urge you to do so. The team at McDonald Murholme made the process easy & reduced all of my anxiety and stress. Thank you again, Mr Nottle & team, I can't express my appreciation enough.
  • June 2020

    I found Arthur Hambas & Katherine Boyles extremely professional & compassionate in my dealings with them. After telling Arthur that I felt the details surrounding my redundancy felt wrong he took on my case & secured me a better payout from my employer. I would not hesitate to recommend Mcdonald Murholme to anyone that has a feeling that something isn't quite right. I greatly appreciate everything you did.
  • May 2020

    Extremely happy with the service received from all the staff members i had to deal with. The lawyer allocated for my case (Michael Kriewaldt) was extremely professional and handled the case very smoothly. Highly recommend their services.
  • May 2020

    I found Arthur Hambas & Katherine Boyles extremely professional & compassionate in my dealings with them. After telling Arthur that I felt the details surrounding my redundancy felt wrong he took on my case & secured me a better payout from my employer. I would not hesitate to recommend Mcdonald Murholme to anyone that has a feeling that something isn't quite right. I greatly appreciate everything you did.
  • April 2020

    The solicitors at the firm were very prompt and actioned my complaint against my employer very quickly. I obtained the result I wanted, in fact, I got a better result than what I had originally asked for. I was very pleased with the results and would highly recommend McDonald Murholme.
  • March 2020

    I would like to say that McDonald Murholme have treated me with nothing but professionalism and also great service. Trent, a principal in the firm is attentive to your needs and will ensure your case is handled with care and mindful consideration to all parameters involved.

Workplace Discrimination?

Speak to an employment lawyer who has acted for thousands of employees like you.

Frequently asked workplace discrimination questions

Can an employer not hire me, or dismiss me because of a medical condition?

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.

Is all workplace discrimination prohibited?

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:

  1. If it is permitted by anti-discrimination laws. For instance, an employer may take special measures to hire employees with specific underrepresented attributes;
  2. If the employee cannot meet the inherent requirements of the position; and
  3. 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.

Can I be discriminated against because of my political opinion?

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.

Can I be discriminated against because I have a criminal record?

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.

Types Of Workplace Discrimination

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