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Race Discrimination

This fact sheet discusses State and Commonwealth anti-discrimination laws, ‘General Protections Dispute’ termination and non-termination claims as well as unfair dismissal.

It is designed to help you as an employee identify your rights and to take the most appropriate action if you believe you have been discriminated against because of your race.

What action can I take?

If you have been dismissed from your job or other discriminatory conduct has occurred, you may be able to make either:

  • an ‘Unfair Dismissal’ claim to the Fair Work Commission (FWC). Note: you only have 21 days from the date that your dismissal took effect to file your claim and strict eligibility requirements apply;
  • a State or Commonwealth ‘discrimination complaint’ to Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal 12 months or Australian Human Rights Commission 6 months from the date of the discriminatory conduct; or
  • a ‘General Protections Dispute’ termination claim to FWC if the termination of your employment was unlawful ‘adverse action’. Note: You have 21 days from the date your dismissal took effect to file your ‘General Protections Dispute’ termination claim. If other unlawful ‘adverse action’ was taken against you but you were not dismissed, you have 6 years to file a ‘General Protections Dispute’ non-termination claim at the Federal Circuit Court or Federal Court of Australia from the date of the unlawful ‘adverse action’ taking place.

Generally, you must choose to make either an Unfair Dismissal, discrimination complaint or a General Protections Dispute claim because you can only make one claim at a time in relation to the same conduct. Sometimes, it may be possible to file a claim about a dismissal and a claim about conduct that occurred prior to that dismissal. Either way, you should call JobWatch for tailored legal information or obtain legal advice about your specific situation as soon as possible

Race Discrimination

The Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (EO Act) makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person because of certain attributes, including race, in the area of employment, which covers employees and independent contractors.

The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RD Act) also makes race discrimination unlawful in the area of employment which covers all types employment relationships, including Commonwealth Government employees, state government employees and private sector employees as well as independent contractors.

Both Acts use the concepts of direct and indirect discrimination to define what is unlawful discrimination.

More detailed information can be found in the attached fact sheet, which we recommend you download.

For further support

Call our Telephone Information Service on Melbourne Metro (03) 9662 1933 or Regional Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania on 1800 331 617.

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