1 min read

20 things you can NEVER discriminate against an employee for

By Charles Power

Given the government’s recent announcement that breastfeeding will be established as a separate form of discrimination, I thought today would be a good chance to recap all the things you can NEVER discriminate against an employee for.

So here they are…

You can NEVER discriminate against an employee on the grounds of their:

  • sexual preference (this includes being heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or transsexual);
  • participation in lawful sexual activity (this includes sex workers);
  • HIV, aids, tuberculosis or hepatitis A, B or C status (in the past or present);
  • criminal record (this includes discriminating against someone whose conviction has become spent);
  • personal association (this includes discriminating against someone because of who their friends, relatives, work colleagues or associates are);
  • employment activity (this includes querying someone’s employment rights or entitlements);
  • age;
  • race (this includes their colour, descent, ethnic or national origin or nationality);
  • religious belief or activity (this includes a lack or absence of religious conviction);
  • marital status (this includes being single, married, separated, divorced, widowed or having a de-facto partner);
  • carer status (having the responsibility for the care of an immediate family member, whether that person is a dependent or not, other than in the course of paid employment);
  • parental status (being a parent or not);
  • pregnancy or potential pregnancy (someone who is pregnant or is likely to become pregnant);
  • breastfeeding (this includes breastfeeding a child or expressing milk);
  • physical features (including height, weight, body shape, disfigurement, skin condition, scar or birthmark);
  • impairment/disability (this includes discriminating against someone on the grounds of a physical, intellectual, sensory, neurological or learning disability or an emotional illnesses or condition, either past or current);
  • participation in lawful industrial activity (being or not being a member of a union);
  • political belief or activity (this includes a lack or absence of political conviction);
  • gender and gender identity (someone who identifies with a particular gender by their style of dress, medical intervention or other means, including a change of name); or
  • sex (i.e. their gender).

For more information about discrimination in the workplace, check out the Discrimination chapter.

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