Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW

Racially abused at work

Conciliation - Race discrimination employment

Published February 2018

An Aboriginal man worked as a bar tender and courtesy bus driver for a registered club. He said that when he returned to work after dropping off patrons, his supervisor asked him where he had been in front of his colleagues, using terms that were very racially abusive. He made a complaint of race discrimination to the Board.

The employer said that the complainant did not bring the matter to the attention of the General Manager until two weeks after it had occurred. Once he knew about the incident, the General Manager took immediate steps to investigate. The supervisor admitted the conduct and was formally counselled and given a warning.

The employer said that the supervisor wanted to offer a formal apology to the complainant, but this was declined. The following day the complainant went on worker's compensation leave for six weeks. When he returned, there was a meeting between the General Manager, the supervisor and the complainant, at which the perpetrator apologised. 

According to the employer, the complainant continued to work with the respondent for another month before resigning in order to pursue another job in his preferred field. They expressed surprise that a complaint had been made to the Board, as they thought the matter had been settled. The complaint was resolved when the complainant accepted a payment of $5,000 for humiliation and embarrassment.

​​​​Back to Equal Time newsletter February 2018​​​​​

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