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Conciliation Register

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Sex
Sexual harassment
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Apology 
Compensation

Amount $55,000
Year

The complainant was engaged in fly-in fly-out work for the respondent mining company. She alleged male team members and team leaders discriminated against her because of her sex and sexually harassed her, including by touching her buttocks, making comments of a sexual nature, and touching each other on the buttocks and penis. The complainant said she did not feel safe in the workplace and resigned because she felt she had no other option.

On being notified of the complaint, the mining company agreed to participate in conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the mining company pay the complainant $55,000 and write to her apologising for the events giving rise to the complaint.
 

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Gender identity
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Apology - Private 
Anti-discrimination/EEO training reviewed/revised

Year

The complainant is a transgender woman. She alleged that a staff member of the respondent supermarket told her she was not a woman and laughed at her for wearing a dress.

On being advised of the complaint, the supermarket indicated a willingness to try to resolve the complaint by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the supermarket apologise to the complainant for the events giving rise to the complaint and take the opportunity to remind staff of their obligations to treat all customers with dignity and respect.

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Sex
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Revised terms and conditions

Year

The complainant worked for a community organisation and alleged that a volunteer stroked her arm and embraced her without her consent at a work event. She said she reported the incident to the organisation and the police. She said the organisation found that the volunteer had breached its Code of Conduct but allowed him to keep working with the organisation. She alleged the matter would have been handled differently if she had been a man.

The community organisation denied discriminating against the complainant but agreed to participate in conciliation.

The complaint was resolved. The community organisation undertook to educate staff on harassment, review its policies and procedures on responding to reports of harassment, and make clear announcements about any changes to policy or procedure. The organisation also undertook to take steps to improve the conduct of volunteers, including developing selection criteria for volunteers, updating the Code of Conduct for volunteers, properly briefing volunteers on their obligations under the Code of Conduct, and developing a process to addressed alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct by volunteers.

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Sex
Areas Clubs/incorporated associations
Outcome details

Club membership/benefits provided 
Policy change/Change in practice

Year

The complainant is a woman and alleged the respondent bowls club did not admit women as full members.

The bowls club claimed that its constitution empowered and allowed its male-only committee to deny women full membership to the club.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the club accept the Complainant’s application for full membership and an acknowledgement by the club that women are entitled to full membership of the club.
 

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Sexual harassment
Areas Accommodation
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount $15,000
Year

The respondent provided accommodation to the complainant, who was a distant relative from overseas. The complainant alleged the respondent sexually harassed her, including by making sexual comments, sending sexual text messages, showing her pornographic images and saying he would not have invited her to come live with him if he knew she would not have sex with him.

On being informed of the complaint, the respondent agreed to participate in conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the respondent pay the complainant $15,000 as general damages.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Access to premises provided  
Revised terms and conditions  
Policy change/Change in practice 

Year

The complainant alleged the respondent club told him he was not permitted to use his mobility scooter inside club premises and would need to leave it at the club entrance. He said the club offered him the use of a wheelchair, but this was not suitable as he is unable to walk without assistance or transfer to and from the wheelchair independently. He alleged that despite being informed of this, the club insisted that he was not permitted to use his mobility scooter inside club premises. 

On being notified of the complaint, the club indicated a willingness to participate in conciliation to try to resolve the complaint.

The complaint was resolved with an undertaking by the club to revise the terms and conditions of entry for patrons who use mobility scooters and/or motorised wheelchairs to alleviate the impacts of the disability. Patrons with mobility scooters or electric wheelchairs would be granted access to club premises so long as they: 

* Operate the mobility scooter or wheelchair in a safe manner 

* Not travel faster than walking pace when inside the Club or within a crowded area to avoid ‘overtaking’ of patrons who are walking  

* Avoid distractions such as headphones, mobile phones or other electronic devices when operating the mobility scooter or wheelchair  

* Slow down and take care when turning around corners.  

The club advised that patrons using mobility scooters or electric wheelchairs who do not abide by these requirements may be asked to leave. 

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Unlawful to contravene Disability Standards
Areas Disability Standards
Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Policy change/Change in practice (external customers)
Anti-discrimination/EEO training reviewed/revised

Year

The complainant is blind and unable to read information on signs and notification screens. He alleged he was refused sighted-guide assistance at a station to enable him to find and make his way to a platform.

The respondent public transport provider considered that its station staff and conductors offer passengers with disability sufficient assistance to access station facilities, including locating train platforms.

The complaint was resolved with an undertaking by the transport provider to update its website to include information about direct assistance, incorporating feedback from the complainant. The transport provider also undertook to update its app to state that information is subject to change and passengers should approach station staff for the most up-to-date information and for any requests for assistance. Finally, the transport provider agreed to deliver training on direct assistance and disability awareness to frontline staff at the station.
 

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Unlawful to contravene Disability Standards
Areas Disability Standards
Education
Outcome details

Policy change/Change in practice 
Disability Action Plan developed

Year

The complainant is blind. His employer offered him the opportunity to participate in a postgraduate leadership program delivered by the respondent not-for-profit organisation. The complainant said he informed the organisation of his disability on enrolment and requested adjustments to accommodate his disability, including the provision of reading materials in an accessible format. The complainant alleged the organisation failed to provide him with printed materials in an accessible format and required him to participate in group activities being hosted on an online platform that was not accessible to his screen reading software. He also alleged the organisation refused to allow him to enrol in other core subjects.

The organisation claimed it provided reasonable adjustments to accommodate the Complainant’s disability. The organisation said the online learning platform was a new platform and the complainant did not advise the organisation of any difficulties he was experiencing in accessing the platform unless prompted.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the organisation develop and publish a disability action plan and make a financial contribution to a literature review assessing leadership pathways for people with disability in the Complainant’s profession.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Goods, services and facilities provided

Year

The complainant has a hearing impairment and alleged the respondent subscription broadcaster did not offer closed captions, meaning he was unable to access programs.

The broadcaster advised it was in the process of introducing closed captioning in its broadcasts. The broadcaster indicated a willingness to try to resolve the complaint by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the broadcaster offer the complainant free access to captioned programming on a related broadcasting service until closed captions are available.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Insurance
Outcome details

Apology
Compensation 
Revised terms and conditions 
Anti-discrimination/EEO training reviewed/revised

Amount $10,000
Year

The complainant has anxiety and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, as well as other medical conditions. He applied for total and permanent disability, income protection and life insurance with the respondent insurer through the respondent superannuation fund. The complainant alleged his application for life insurance was originally approved with certain exclusions and his applications for total and permanent disability and income protection insurance were originally declined because of his disability. The complainant alleges that after he provided additional information about his disability, the insurer removed the exclusions to his life insurance policy and issued him with total and permanent disability and income protection insurance policies with a blanket mental health exclusion. The complainant claimed his mental health issues were well managed and had not resulted in him being unable to work at any point.

The insurer claimed that its decisions were based on statistical and actuarial data on which it was reasonable to rely and that its decisions were therefore not unlawful.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the insurer pay the complainant $10,000 and commit to the ongoing training of staff on mental health issues. The insurer also agreed to refund the complainant the cost of his policies to date should he wish to change insurance providers by a specified date. The insurer and superannuation fund agreed to write to the complainant apologising that his customer experience had not met his expectations.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability aid
Disability
Areas Access to premises
Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Adjustments provided

Year

The complainant uses a walking frame to aid mobility. She advised the respondent sporting team moved to a new venue and patrons were required to use stairs to access front row seating. She claimed she had previously been allowed to pass through a restricted secure area to access seating, but this arrangement was no longer available.

On being advised of the complaint, the respondent indicated a willingness to try and resolve the matter by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the respondent allow the complainant alternative access to the front row, accessible seating.
 

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Unlawful to contravene Disability Standards
Areas Disability Standards
Education
Outcome details

Revised terms and conditions

Year

The complainant has anxiety and depression. She is enrolled in a bachelor’s degree with the respondent university and resides in student accommodation. The complainant said that the university had previously accommodated her need to take time off her studies to manage her disability. However, she claimed the university had recently started a ‘show cause’ process due to an unsuccessful year of study which could result in her being excluded from the university for five years. She claimed the university did not give due consideration to medical evidence about the impact of her disability on her studies and resulting need for reasonable adjustment.

On being notified of the complaint, the university indicated a willingness to try to resolve the matter by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved. The university agreed to apply the complainant’s late withdrawals retrospectively, so she did not fail subjects. The university agreed to allow the complainant to defer her studies, beyond the standard referral period if required. The university also undertook to prioritise the complainant’s application for accommodation on campus.

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Sexual orientation
Victimisation
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount $1,000
Year

The complainant is homosexual and worked for the respondent university. He claimed a colleague told another colleague that the complainant was sending him ‘gross’ photos and that he did not want to work with the complainant because of his sexual orientation. The complainant alleged that the university terminated his contract when he asked not to be allocated shifts with the colleague.

The university did not agree with the complainant’s view of events but indicated a willingness to participate in conciliation to try to resolve the complaint.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the university pay the complainant $1,000.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Pregnancy
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation 
Statement of service

Amount $35,000
Year

The complainant worked as a childcare worker for the respondent childcare centre. She developed a pregnancy-related medical condition and asked for adjustments to accommodate her condition, including reduced hours and weightlifting restrictions. She said these requests were accommodated initially. However, she alleged that after a period of leave, she was informed that on her return, she would be primarily performing kitchen duties, which involved repetitive lifting, bending and standing. She said that when she told the childcare centre that these duties would not be suitable, she was placed on special parental leave. 

The childcare centre denied discriminating against the complainant on the grounds of her pregnancy or disability but agreed to participate in conciliation.

The parties agreed to end the employment relationship. The childcare centre agreed to pay the complainant $35,000 as an eligible termination payment and in compensation for accrued entitlements and to provide her with a statement of service.

Act Other discrimination in employment
Grounds Criminal record
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount Approximately $8,500
Year

The complainant alleged that the respondent software business terminated his employment in a sales role three weeks after recruiting him because of his criminal record. The complainant said he had left his employment with another employer to take up the position with the business. The complainant was charged with, but not convicted of, assault and domestic violence related offences six years earlier.  

The software business said that its decision to terminate the complainant's employment was based on a legitimate contractual right to terminate employment if an employee did not return a satisfactory criminal record check. The business agreed to participate in conciliation to try to resolve the complaint.  

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the business pay the complainant approximately $8,500. 

Pagination