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  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.