Traliant Resources


Equal Employment Opportunity


Please review the information below and then return to the workplace harassment prevention course.

Harassment and discrimination based on a protected ground are prohibited under federal law and the laws of states and territories. Additionally, federal law and the laws of states and territories prohibit bullying, whether related to a protected ground or not. The federal government and state and territory governments have agencies that help employers and employees understand these legal requirements and ensure compliance with the laws.

Applicable Laws


The primary federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination include the Age Discrimination Act 2004, the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, and the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986.

The Fair Work Act 2009 provides protections against bullying and taking adverse action against an employee because of a protected attribute.

State or Territory

In the Australian Capital Territory, the primary law prohibiting employment discrimination, including harassment, is the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991.

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 provides protection from harassment and sexual harassment as a workplace hazard or risk.

Protected Grounds


Harassment or discrimination based on any attribute listed below is prohibited throughout Australia under federal law.

  • Sex (including intersex status, pregnancy and breastfeeding)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Race/Colour
  • Immigrant status
  • National or ethnic origin
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Marital or relationship status
  • Family responsibilities

State or Territory Law

Harassment or discrimination based on any attribute below is prohibited under the law of the Australian Capital Territory.

  • Sex
  • Relationship status
  • Pregnancy
  • Parental status
  • Breastfeeding
  • Age
  • Race
  • Impairment
  • Religious belief or religious activity
  • Political belief or activity
  • Trade union activity
  • Lawful sexual activity
  • Gender identity
  • Sexuality
  • Family responsibilities

Definition of Sexual Harassment

Under the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which reasonable person would have anticipated to be offensive, humiliating or intimidated.

Sexual harassment includes uninvited physical intimacy such as touching in a sexual way, uninvited sexual propositions, and remarks with sexual connotations.

Sexual harassment can take various forms and may be obvious or subtle, physical or verbal. Examples of sexual harassment include:

  • unwelcome physical touching
  • sexual or suggestive comments, jokes or innuendo
  • unwelcome requests for sex
  • intrusive questions about a person’s private life or body
  • the display of sexually explicit material such as posters or pictures;
    unwanted invitations to go out on dates
  • staring or leering
  • sex-based insults or taunts
  • sexually offensive communications, including texts, email and computer screen savers.
    Sexual harassment does not have to be repeated or continuous to be against the law. A single act can be unlawful.

Filing a Claim in Queensland

A claim for employment discrimination or harassment based on a protected ground may be made to the Australian Human Rights Commission or the Queensland Human Rights Commission.

Complaints related to bullying and certain types of discriminatory actions may be made to the Australian Fair Work Ombudsman or to WorkSafe QLD.

Potential Remedies

An employee who has experienced discrimination, harassment or bullying may be entitled to monetary and other remedies. An employer may be required to take certain actions to correct or redress the unlawful conduct. Examples of potential remedies are listed below.

  • Compensation for lost wages or benefits
  • Reinstatement, promotion, transfer or hiring
  • Injunctions to stop unlawful conduct

Victimisation Prohibited

It is unlawful for an employer to engage in victimisation as to an employee who makes a claim or allegation as to discrimination or harassment or assists someone else to make such a claim or allegation.

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only.
It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.