Anti-Discrimination NSW


​Homosexual man harassed by co-worker

Conciliation: Homosexual discrimination in employment​

Published: 14 October 2016

A homosexual man who worked at a car yard was subjected to ongoing harassment by a co-worker, who said he ‘wanted the p****** gone’.

The complainant who worked as a labourer in a car yard alleged that he had been harassed because he is homosexual on numerous occasions by a particular sales person in the yard because he is homosexual. He said that this included making jokes about his homosexuality, introducing his sexuality into the subject of conversation to others during a staff Christmas party, and telling co-workers that ‘he wanted the poofter gone’. 

The complainant said that he had never made an issue of his sexuality in the workplace and his expectation was that it should not be raised as an issue by his co-workers. He said that he had tried to complain about the harassment within the organisation, but this was not successful and the harassment continued.  

The complainant also said that when he complained about the conduct to the company’s financial controller, the financial controller said the complainant could take the matter further but he didn’t agree with homosexuality because it was against his religion. The complainant said that he became depressed and took time off work, and then later resigned. 

The employer said that it did take appropriate action as a result of the complainant’s initial complaint, providing training for all workers. They said they had understood that the complainant was satisfied with this outcome and considered the matter resolved. They were unaware of any further incidents.  

The employer also said that they didn’t know that the complainant’s resignation was connected with any further harassment, and thought it was because he was dissatisfied about changes to his duties. They said that the fact that they had changed him from casual to full time employment prior to his resignation showed that they did not discriminate against him because of his sexual preference.  

The complaint was resolved when the complainant accepted the respondent’s expressions of regret during the conciliation conference and an ex-gratia payment of $5000 in settlement.

What does the law say about homosexual discrimination?

It is generally against the law in NSW to treat you unfairly or harass you because:

  • you are gay or lesbian;
  • someone thinks you are gay or lesbian; or
  • because you have a relative, friend, associate or work colleague who is gay or lesbian, or someone thinks they are gay or lesbian.

More information on Homosexual discrimination​​

​​​Back to October 2016 - Equal Time Newsletter​​​​​​

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