Discrimination occurs when someone is treated unfairly because they happen to belong to a particular group of people, or have a particular characteristic.
Under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 NSW legislation employers must not treat employees or job applicants unfairly or harass them because of their:
This means that all employers, managers and supervisors must treat all their employees and anyone who applies for a job with them fairly.
This means they should treat people on the basis of their individual merit rather than irrelevant personal characteristics.
It also means that they must do their best to make sure that their employees are not harassing any other employee or job applicant.
The Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW administers the anti-discrimination laws.
Both direct and indirect discrimination are against the law.
Direct discrimination means someone is treated unfairly compared to someone else in the same or similar circumstances.
For example, if an employer won't hire someone just because they are a woman this is likely to be direct sex discrimination.
Indirect discrimination means a requirement (or rule) that is the same for everyone but has an effect or result that is unequal and unreasonable having regard to the circumstances.
An employer who says that they need a person over 180 cm tall to do a certain job could be indirectly discriminating against women and some ethnic groups who are less likely to be this height, if the job does not really need someone that tall to do it.
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