Traliant Resources


Western Australia
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 Western Australia, the primary law prohibiting employment discrimination, including harassment, is the Equal Opportunity Act 1984.

The Work Health and Safety Act 2020 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 Western Australia.

  • Race (including skin colour, ethnicity or national origin or descent)
  • Age
  • Impairment or disability
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender history (having a reassigned gender as under the Gender Reassignment Act 2000)
  • Breastfeeding
  • Pregnancy
  • Family responsibility
  • Family status
  • Marital status
  • Religious conviction
  • Having personal details published on the Fines Enforcement Registrar’s website
  • Political conviction



Definition of Sexual Harassment

Under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984, sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favours or other conduct of a sexual nature.

The harassed person must have reasonable grounds to believe that if they reject the advance, refuse the request or object to the conduct, they will be disadvantaged or they are in fact disadvantaged.

Sexual harassment does not need to be repeated or continuous. It can involve a single incident.

Sexual harassment can take many forms including, but not limited to:

  • unwelcome physical touching, hugging or kissing
  • staring or leering at someone or at parts of their body
  • suggestive comments or jokes
  • insults or taunts based on sex
  • sexually explicit pictures, e-mails or text messages
  • intrusive questions about a person’s private life or body.

Filing a Claim in Western Australia

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

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

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.