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Conciliation Register

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Gender identity
Areas Administration of Commonwealth laws and programs
Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Revised terms and conditions

Year

The complainant identifies as a trans woman and alleged her superannuation fund persisted in addressing correspondence to her former male name.

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

The complaint was resolved with an undertaking by the superannuation fund to update the complainant’s record to reflect her correct name and gender identity.

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Associate
Family responsibilities
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Statement of Service

Amount $45,000
Year

The complainant’s sons have language difficulties and anxiety and his father-in-law, who resides with the family, has Parkinson’s disease and dementia. The complainant worked at the respondent bank was was undertaking a secondment in a senior consultant role. He alleged his team leader told him the bank did not want him to continue in the secondment because of his family responsibilities.

The bank claimed the complainant’s team leader met with him to discuss ongoing concerns about his stress levels. The bank claimed the complainant’s team leader was aiming to remove stress from the complainant’s work to enable him to focus on his family situation. The bank said its intention was to support the complainant and not to discriminate against him.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement to end the employment relationship. The bank agreed to pay the complainant $45,000 less applicable tax and inclusive of all statutory entitlements. The bank also agreed to provide the complainant with a statement of service and a contact point for prospective employers. 

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

Compensation
Statement of regret - private 

Amount $27,000
Year

The complainant worked as a store and deli team member with the respondent supermarket. She alleged a more senior team member sexually harassed her including by sending her text and online messages asking her on a date, asking what she looked like without her head scarf and telling her she was sexy. She alleged that when she made a complaint to Human Resources, the matter was not properly investigated and she was threatened with disciplinary action.

The supermarket claimed the complainant and individual respondent were in a relationship and the alleged conduct was reciprocated by the complainant. The supermarket said it could not substantiate allegations of sexual harassment and therefore reminded both staff members of their obligations with respect to appropriate workplace behaviour. The supermarket also required both staff members to complete an online training module on the supermarket’s code of conduct.

The complaint was resolved. The parties agreed to end the employment relationship. The supermarket agreed to pay the complainant $27,000 ex-gratia and provide her with a statement of service. Both respondents agreed to write to the complainant expressing regret for the events giving rise to her complaint.

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

Compensation 
Reference 
Anti discrimination/EEO training introduced

Amount $4,000
Year

The complainant worked part-time at the respondent health products company as a digital customer service Representative. She said that during her pregnancy she experienced pregnancy-related physical and mental health issues as well as work-related stress. She alleged that after becoming aware of her pregnancy, her supervisor was hostile towards her, started questioning her work ethic and contacting her on non-work days. She alleged that she was required to bring her toddler-aged son to a meeting on her non-work day. She also claimed that after taking sick leave, she was prevented from performing particular work that she enjoyed. The complainant resigned shortly after lodging a complaint with the Commission.

The company was of the view that the complainant’s supervisor's interaction with the complainant did not change after becoming aware of her pregnancy. The company said there was no expectation that the complainant respond to emails on her non-work days, said that any change in work arrangements was not due to her taking sick leave and said that the meeting with her son occurred with one week's notice when the complainant indicated availability. The company said it supported the complainant in her work and took a generous and accommodating approach towards the complainant's circumstances.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the company pay the complainant $4,000, provide her with a written reference and deliver anti-discrimination training to staff.

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Pregnancy
Sex
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation 
Anti discrimination/EEO training introduced 

Amount $5,000
Year

The complainant alleged the respondent charitable organisation withdrew an offer of employment after she disclosed her pregnancy. 

On being advised of the complaint, the organisation agreed to participate in conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the organisation pay the complainant $5,000. The organisation acknowledged the complainant was provided with inadequate information about the requirements of the role during the recruitment process and undertook review relevant policies and procedures to prevent similar incidents in the future. The organisation also undertook to review its parental leave policy and to train all staff on anti-discrimination principles.

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Sexual harassment
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Apology - Private 
Anti discrimination/EEO training introduced 

Year

The complainant attended the respondent entertainment and dining venue. She alleged that when returning to the venue after stepping out with friends, the bouncer used an entry stamp depicting male genitalia.

The venue said the stamp was not intended to be offensive, but rather, ‘tongue in cheek’. The venue said it would give careful consideration to what stamps were used in the future.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the venue cease using the stamp referred to in the complaint, write to the complainant apologising for the incident and deliver anti-discrimination training to staff.

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

Employment - other
Compensation
Statement of regret
Statement of service
Named individual(s) to undertake anti-discrimination/EEO training

Amount $9,000
Year

The complainant was employed by the respondent cleaning and maintenance service to perform pool and yard maintenance duties in a remote location. She informed the company she was pregnant because she was experiencing severe morning sickness and was concerned at the potential risk of heavy lifting and use of chemicals. The company allowed her to perform administrative duties during her pregnancy in accordance with medical advice that she was fit to perform ‘light duties’. The complainant alleged that the company told her that, before she could return to work after maternity leave, she would need to obtain medical clearance from practitioners in the state’s capital city, participate in a work conditioning program and undertake a fitness for duty assessment two or three months later. The complainant claimed she had no option but to resign.

The company claimed the information provided by the complainant regarding her fitness to return to work was insufficient given she had been performing light duties for some time and had been absent for 60 days in the 12-month period before beginning maternity leave. The company claimed a medical assessment recommended the complainant undertake a work conditioning program because she had poor upper-limb function, trunk strength, lifting ability and cardiovascular fitness. The company denied requiring the complainant to access services or professionals in the capital city. The company claimed she was unable to perform the inherent requirements of her role and no adjustments could be provided to address this.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the company pay the complainant $9,000, provide her with a statement of service and write to her expressing regret for the events giving rise to the complaint. The company also agreed to review its policies to better address issues that may arise concerning pregnant workers in remote locations and to deliver training on equal employment opportunity to management and leadership representatives in the complainant’s work location.

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

Compensation

Amount $17,500
Year

The complainant worked at the respondent university and claimed her manager, an academic, discriminated against her on the ground of her sex by undermining her, commenting on her appearance and referring to her as ‘looking good, but not adding any value to the portfolio’. She said the manager resigned after she made a complaint about him. She claimed there was a ‘boys’ club’ culture and she was not offered promotional opportunities that she had been promised or that she had sought. She alleged another academic sexually harassed her by making comments including ‘you’re pretty hot’. She said that after she made a complaint about this behaviour, her manager treated her less favourably and another academic did not support the renewal of her contract.

The respondents claimed the alleged comments were mischaracterised by the complainant and were not of a sexual nature. The university claimed the complainant was not the most qualified person for the promotional opportunities and that her contract was not renewed for operational reasons.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the university pay the complainant $17,500.

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Sexual orientation
Areas Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Action taken against named individuals 
Anti-discrimination/EEO policy reviewed/revised 
Anti-discrimination/EEO training introduced 
Anti-discrimination/EEO training reviewed/revised 
Policy change/Change in practice 

Year

The complainant identifies as homosexual and attended the respondent hotel. He alleged a security guard from the respondent security company, which provides security services for the hotel, required him to leave for no reason and said 'jog on faggot.' 

The security guard denied the allegations but both respondents agreed to participate in conciliation to try to resolve the complaint.

The complaint was resolved. In response to the complaint, the hotel and security company revised their policies and training on non-discrimination and complaint handling. The hotel and the security company also undertook to deliver training to staff on non-discrimination in employment and service delivery and to remind staff of potential disciplinary action that could be taken should these expectations be breached. 

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

Compensation

Amount $35,000
Year

The complainant alleged a male colleague at the respondent university sexually harassed her, including by using sexual innuendo in conversation, looking  at pornography on his computer, invading her personal space and touching her without consent. She also claimed a female colleague participated in some of the alleged conduct. The complainant alleged the male colleague waited for her outside the female toilets and confronted her about complaints she made to management about his conduct. She said the male colleague’s employment with the university ended following an internal investigation of her claims and he was not replaced, resulting in an increased workload for other staff.  She said her colleagues were unhappy about this and claimed a colleague said to her ‘it’s not like you were bloody raped, for God’s sake!’ The complainant felt she had no option but to resign.

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

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the respondents jointly pay the complainant $35,000 as general damages.

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Family responsibilities
Sex
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Adjustments provided

Job offer

Year

The complainant is the primary carer for her grand-daughter, who has Autism, and for a number of relatives. She advised she had worked for the respondent government agency as an auditor for several years. She said she had been permitted to work two days per week and to use purchased leave to accommodate her family responsibilities. The complainant claimed that, after a restructure, the agency informed her she would be required to work three or four days per week and to take less or no purchased leave. The complainant had taken personal leave and become unwell.

The government agency denied discriminating against the complainant but agreed to participate in conciliation to try to resolve the matter.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the government agency offer the complainant a graduated return to work in a new two-day per week position. The agency also advised the complainant she would have access to purchased leave.

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Family responsibilities
Sex
Victimisation
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount $15,000
Year

The complainant worked as a fulltime assistant manager for the respondent financial/accountancy company. She alleged a male company director told her she could not be promoted because she had children, was unable to work long hours and he could not have a woman represent the company to clients. She also alleged the director did not allow her to work from home or to access personal and annual leave, unlike other staff. Finally, she alleged that the director threatened her employment when she told him she was unable to work longer hours due to her family responsibilities. 

The director and the company denied the allegations but agreed to participate in conciliation to try to resolve the complaint.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the company pay the complainant $15,000 in compensation for hurt and distress. The director left the company and the complainant remained employed with the company under the supervision of a different manager.

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

Employment - other 
Compensation
Anti-discrimination/EEO training reviewed/revised 
Training

Year

The complainant is Brazilian and worked at the respondent club. She alleged her supervisor sexually harassed her, including by grabbing her waist and squeezing and responding to a comment from someone who thought the complainant and a colleague were his daughters by saying ‘If you knew what I was thinking of doing with my daughters...’ The complainant also alleged that a club member asked her ‘because you are Brazilian, how deep do you go?’ (referencing oral sex) while making suggestive gestures towards his crotch. She claimed management did not respond appropriately when she complained about the alleged conduct. The complainant resigned from her employment shortly after lodging her complaint with the Commission.

The club claimed it took reasonable steps to identify the member who made the alleged comments to the complainant. The club also claimed the alleged comments were recollected and interpreted differently by the complainant and her colleagues.

The complaint was resolved with an undertaking by the club to ensure all staff undertake online induction before commencement. The club also agreed to deliver training to staff on discrimination and sexual harassment, and to provide interpreters where required. The club agreed to pay the complainant $1,000 and offer her access to three Employee Assistance Program sessions. Finally, the club undertook not to employ the supervisor in any capacity for three months or only as a bartender for six months.

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Descent
Race
Sex
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Apology

Other opportunity provided

Revised terms and conditions

Compensation

Amount $20,000
Year

The complainant is Aboriginal and undertook a graduate program with the respondent government department. She acted in higher duties for a period and applied for the role when it was advertised. The complainant was not invited to attend an interview and sought feedback from the head of the interview panel. She alleged he told her that discussing her Aboriginality in her application was a factor in the decision not to interview her and may hinder her prospects of progression. She also alleged that he said the woman who was interviewed wore ‘a nice skirt and heels’, which made her feel her appearance/grooming was being criticised. The complainant said she made an internal complaint about the alleged comments but was unhappy with the department’s response to the complaint. At the time of lodging the complaint, the complainant was on leave without pay and undertaking a Masters degree for which she had been awarded a scholarship.

On being advised of the complaint, the department indicated a willingness to participate in conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the department write to the complainant acknowledging and apologising for her negative experience, stating that the alleged conduct was unacceptable and assuring her that steps were being taken to prevent similar incidents in the future. The department also granted the complainant an additional year of leave without pay to allow her to complete her Masters degree and agreed to meet with her to discuss a safe and sustainable return to work. Finally, the department agreed to pay the complainant $20,000 in compensation for hurt and distress.

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

Compensation

Anti-discrimination/EEO policy reviewed/revised

Anti-discrimination/EEO training reviewed/revised

Amount $5,000
Year

The complainant was employed at the respondent catering and events company. She alleged a male co-worker sexually harassed her at the work Christmas party, including by telling her he had been watching her ‘strut [her] stuff around the office’ and pinching her bottom three times. She said she made an internal complaint about the incident. She claimed the company originally discouraged her from pursuing the matter and then failed to support her during the complaint process. The complainant said she felt she had no option but to resign.

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

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the company pay the complainant $5,000 as general damages. The company also agreed to contract an Employee Assistance Program for use by its employees, to review and re-launch it sexual harassment policy and grievance procedures, and to conduct training on anti-discrimination and equal opportunity law with its management team.