Anti-Discrimination NSW

Dismissed after sexual conversation

Conciliation: Sex discrimination in employment

Published: 21 November 2017

A woman was allegedly dismissed from her job after a sexually-related conversation with a male colleague at work, but the male participant was not.


A woman was dismissed from her job because of a sexually-related conversation with a male colleague which took place while they were working at the premises of their employer’s client. 

After a complaint from the client, the woman’s employer dismissed her but did not dismiss her male colleague. She made a complaint of sex discrimination to the Board. However, the employer said they had not actually dismissed her, but when they tried to interview her about the matter, the meeting broke down and she became emotional and left. They later provided her with a separation certificate at her request.

The employer said they had decided not to dismiss the complainant’s colleague because he was a long-term employee, he had cooperated with the investigation and had admitted his part in the conduct. The complaint was resolved when the complainant accepted a payment of $10,000 in settlement.

What does the law say about sex discrimination?

Sex discrimination is against the law in NSW. This includes the following:

  • when you are treated unfairly or harassed because of your sex - that is, because you're a woman or because you're a man

More information on Sex Discrimination​​​

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

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