Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW

Dismissed after race complaint

Conciliations: Race discrimination in employment

Published: 25th March 2019

A person living in Australia but originally from Africa made a complaint of race discrimination because some of their work colleagues called them a number of offensive racist names and allegedly sabotaged their work. They were later dismissed to which they claimed was also because of their race. 

The employer responded that the complainant had failed to disclose the name calling when it had first began, which meant they were unable to investigate it promptly. They said that once they became aware of the matter they took immediate steps to investigate it, which resulted in perpetrator being dismissed within three days.  

The complainant said they did not complain earlier because they were afraid of retaliation by their co-workers. However the employer said the individual had received training on expected workplace behaviour and the grievance process and therefore they knew that retaliation was not tolerated. 

The employer said the investigation also disclosed that there had been some inappropriate horseplay between a number of the workers, including the complainant. However the complainant denied any involvement. 

The employer also denied that the complainant’s dismissal was connected to their race or to them having made a complaint. They were terminated because another investigation had concluded that they have been falsifying product test results. 

The complaint was resolved following a conciliation conference when the employer agreed to pay the complainant $2500 in settlement of claim that worker had suffered humiliation and embarrassment as a result of the name calling incidents.

​​​​Back to Equal Time newsletter March 2019 ​​​​​

Related content:

Equal Time is the Anti-Discrimination Board’s FREE e-newsletter.

​​​​​​Copyright notice and disclaimer​

You may copy, distribute, display, download and otherwise freely deal with the content of Equal Time for personal, educational or government purposes, provided that you attribute the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW as the owner.  

However, you must obtain permission if you wish to (a) charge others for the use of any content of the Board's publications or materials, (b) include any content of the Board's publications or materials in advertising or a product for sale, or (c) modify any content of the Board's publications or materials when reproducing it.  

Equal Time has been prepared by the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW for general information purposes and is not legal advice. While every care has been taken in relation to its accuracy, no warranty is given or implied   Further, recipients should obtain their own independent advice before making any decisions that rely on this information.