Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW

Comments about mental illness at work

Conciliation - disability discrimination

A man working in the finance industry complained to his employer that his team leader made a comment in a team meeting that implied he had a mental illness. The team leader denied having made the comment. The man made a complaint to Anti-Discrimination NSW and in response; the employer’s legal team investigated and found that no one else who attended the meeting remembered the comment either.

When the matter reached conciliation, both parties approached positively, including the team leader. The man explained that he was concerned that the employer was accusing him of lying, but they made it clear that this was not the case and they were just unable to verify his version of events.

The man said that even if the comment was intended as a joke, he felt it was inappropriate. He strongly felt that everyone deserved a safe workplace and that he needed to take a stand to avoid other people being treated as he had.

The employer gave the man a statement of regret and committed to providing a safe workplace for all employees. They also offered to provide workplace behaviour training for the man’s team. Both parties agreed to put the complaint behind them in future workplace situations such as performance reviews.

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