Learning About the Different Forms of Employee Discrimination

Battling Discrimination in ChristchurchSince 2009, most workplaces in Australia follow a new system created by the Fair Work Act 2009. Led by an ombudsman, this act helps people who believe that they have been subject to unlawful discrimination at work. Once an employee reports unjust treatment, the ombudsman and an employment lawyer such as I.R. Thompson Associates Ltd can investigate and take action on any kind of workplace discriminatory practices.

Be aware of the different forms of employee discrimination by reading four of the most common below.

Age Discrimination

Treating someone less favourably because of his or her age is a form of discrimination. This includes any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, assignments, promotions, layoff, training, and fringe benefits. Giving sexual or offensive remarks regarding age is also unlawful.

National Origin

National origin discrimination pertains to harassment due to a person’s nationality, ethnicity or accent. It also entails treating someone unfavourably because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background, even if they’re not. One example is when an employer chooses not to provide benefits to an employee because of his difference in terms of language.


A person’s disability should not stop an employer from hiring him or giving him equal workplace benefits. Disability discrimination occurs when an employer or employee treats a co-worker less favourably due to impairment, history of disability or a physical or mental impairment that is not transitory.


Not everyone may agree with a certain religion, but that should not welcome discrimination, especially at work. Religious discrimination occurs when a person receives unjust treatment because of his or her religious beliefs. The law does not only protect people who belong to traditional and organised religions such as Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism, but also those who have held religious, ethical or moral beliefs.

Discrimination remains to be an issue in most workplaces but by spreading awareness and raising concerns, one can fight off the problem, gradually leading people to just actions and decisions. If you think that you have experienced any form of unlawful discrimination at work, don’t afraid to speak up and stand up for yourself.