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Discrimination in the workplace

Discrimination can be illegal. Discrimination occurs when you are treated unfairly because of your:

  • gender
  • age
  • race
  • impairment or disability
  • religious or political beliefs
  • sexuality
  • pregnancy or marital status.

In the workplace, employees have rights to equal employment opportunities, and the right to be treated fairly as they go about their daily duties.

Governing bodies

The Australian Human Rights Commission is Australia’s independent human rights body. They lead the promotion and protection of human rights in Australia and have responsibilities under a number of pieces of federal legislation.

The Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland deals with complaints of discrimination and other contraventions of the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991. They also promote human rights in Queensland, including education programs and training.

Information for specific groups

Read more about discrimination and equality for people from all walks of life, including seniors, women, people with disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Make a complaint

In Queensland, discrimination complaints can be made through the:

Complaints not resolved by the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland can be referred (by the complainant) to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a hearing.

Queensland Ombudsman

The Queensland Ombudsman may be able to help you with complaints against:

  • a Queensland Government agency
  • your local council
  • your university.

Workplace complaints

Before making a complaint you should try to talk to your employer about your concerns. They may have made a mistake, or not know you were worried about something.

If you would like to make a complaint about your employer, the Fair Work Ombudsman may be able to help you. They investigate many different types of complaints, including making sure:

  • you're being paid enough
  • your leave entitlements are right
  • you're not being discriminated against.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
21 January 2014

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