The Directorate has a zero tolerance on all forms of discriminatory and harassing behaviours. If you have experienced any of these, you can contact a REDCO to discuss further options or refer to the Complaints and Dispute Resolution Toolkit for more options.
What Is Discrimination?
Discrimination is broadly defined as the unfavourable treatment of a person, or that has, or likely to have, an effect of disadvantaging a person based on their protected attributes. Under the ACT Discrimination Act 1991 it is unlawful to discriminate against another person on any of the following grounds:
- Sexual preference;
- Physical or mental disability;
- Marital status;
- Family or carer's responsibilities;
- Political opinion;
- National extraction; and
- Social origin (association with a person who has an attribute listed above)
Unlawful discrimination may be direct or indirect.
Direct Discrimination: occurs when somebody is treated unfavourably because of a protected attribute.
Indirect Discrimination: occurs when a requirement (or rule) that appears to be neutral and the same for everyone in fact has the effect of disadvantaging someone because they have an attribute covered by the Act. The effect has to be unreasonable.
What Is Harassment?
Harassment is a form of work bullying, involving behaviour that causes humiliation, abuse, offence or intimidation, and is on the basis of their particular characteristic.
Harassment can be written or verbal and includes behaviours such as:
- telling insulting jokes about particular racial groups;
- sending explicit or sexually suggestive emails;
- displaying offensive material;
- making derogatory comments or taunts about someone's race or religion, or sexual preference;
- asking intrusive questions about someone's personal life.
What Is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour that makes you feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination.
Some examples include:
- Sexually suggestive comments or jokes;
- Wolf whistling or sexual gestures;
- Pinching, touching or hugging;
- Sending sexually offensive material by email, fax, telephone or social media;
- Repeated requests to go out on dates;
- Requests for sex;
- Intrusive questions about your personal life;
- Displaying pictures, magazines or screen savers of a sexual nature.
In the event of assault, sexual or otherwise, you must contact the police immediately.