Anti-Discrimination NSW

​Derogatory comments alleged   

Conciliation: Race discrimination in employment

Published: 30 November 2016​

An engineer alleged that he was denied a chance to deal with overseas customers because he didn’t look Australian.


An engineer made a complaint that the General Manager of the plant where he worked made derogatory comments about his country of birth. He said that he was denied the lead role in projects that involved dealing with overseas customers and contracts because he didn’t look like an Australian, and his assistant was asked to do this instead.

The man also said that during a dinner following work on a certain contract, a number of co-workers at his table made disparaging remarks about his country of birth and that this was allowed to go unchallenged by the General Manager who was present at the time.

The man’s employer said that the complainant was not the person responsible for overseas contracts, and he had been wrong in assuming this. They said that the engineer’s performance had been unsatisfactory and they had decided to not offer him any further work after his probationary period. 

The General Manager said that he couldn’t remember what was said at the dinner and it was as much up to the complainant himself to challenge comments from workers who were his subordinates. He denied making the other comments attributed to him.

The complaint was resolved when the complainant accepted a payment of $8,000 in settlement.

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 December 2016 - E​qual Time Newsletter​​​​​​

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