Age, disability and carer discrimination and victimisation in employment
The complainant worked casually for a large store. After a new manager took over, he felt he was being offered less work and was not offered training opportunities. He believed that this was due to his age and the fact that he was a single parent, as younger employees with no caring responsibilities appeared to be given more work.
He also thought the manager had presumed that he had a disability as she said she would not place him in areas that involved lifting because she had heard he had a sore knee and back. He denied that he had a disability and eventually got a medical clearance from his doctor to prove this.
The man initially made an internal complaint to his employer, which the employer investigated and found to be unsubstantiated. He then made a complaint of age, carer and disability discrimination to the Board. Disability discrimination can occur if someone is presumed to have a disability, even if they don't.
At a later date, the complainant was suspended from work pending an investigation into complaints about his behaviour. Victimisation was added to his complaint with the Board, as he argued that other staff had not been suspended in similar situations.
The employer said they had made every effort to accommodate the man's caring responsibilities and in fact he had not been offered less work than other employees. Some staff had been given extra hours when another person was on extended leave but once they returned the shifts went back to normal.
The complaint was resolved at conciliation when the employer agree to pay the complainant compensation of $4,500, provide him with a statement of service and provide refresher training for all store employees on the organisation's code of conduct.
More information on age discrimination
More information on disability discrimination
More information on carer discrimination
Back to Equal Time Newsletter April 2018
Copyright notice and disclaimer