Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW

Staff member made racist comments

Conciliation: Race discrimination in service provision​

Published: 24 August 2017 

A staff member in a store made racist comments to a customer during a dispute about the prices of goods in the store.

A woman made a complaint of race discrimination alleging that a staff member at a shop made derogatory comments about her race, barred her from the shop when that staff member was working, and charged her higher prices for goods.

The shop owner denied the allegations and said the complainant had been yelling at the staff member and abusing her about the prices.  However, at conciliation, she accepted that the comments had actually been made, but said it was under severe provocation. She said that a large percentage of the store's customers came from overseas backgrounds and in general her staff were not racist.

However, the shop owner accepted that the comments were offensive and should not have been made. She agreed that all customers should and would be treated equally and fairly, regardless of race, and that she would accept information from the Anti-Discrimination Board about anti-discrimination law.

The complainant agreed that she would not return to the store. The parties all agreed that if the complainant met the store owner or the staff member in the street, they would politely acknowledge each other without engaging in any communication. These agreements resolved the complaint.

What does the law say about race discrimination?

It is generally against the law in NSW to treat you unfairly or harass you because of:
  • your race, colour, nationality, descent, ethnic or ethno-religious background

  • the race, colour, nationality, descent, ethnic or ethno-religious background of any of your relatives, friends, associates or work colleagues.

More information on Race Discrimination

Back to August 2017 - Equal Time Newsletter​​​​

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