Traliant Resources


New Zealand
Equal Employment Opportunity


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

Harassment and discrimination based on a protected characteristic are prohibited under national law. National law also provides employees protection from bullying.

Applicable Laws

The primary national laws prohibiting employment discrimination and harassment on the basis of any protected characteristic are:

  • The Human Rights Act 1993, and
  • The Employment Relations Act 2000.

Employers have an obligation, under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, to take measures necessary to protect employees’ psychological and physical safety. This obligation has been interpreted to require employers to prevent workplace bullying.

Protected Characteristics

Harassment or discrimination based on any characteristic set forth below is prohibited in New Zealand.

  • Age
  • Race or colour
  • Ethnicity or national origins
  • Sex (including pregnancy or childbirth)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Religious or ethical belief
  • Marital or family status
  • Employment status
  • Political opinion
  • Being affected by family violence
  • Involvement in union activities

Regional, state or other political subdivision laws may provide additional, separate standards and remedies for certain prohibited conduct.


Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment occurs when an employee is subjected to:

  • unwanted or offensive conduct of a sexual nature that has a detrimental effect on the employee’s employment, job performance or job satisfaction; or
  • a request to engage in sexual activity where the request contains an implied or overt promise of preferential treatment or an implied or overt threat of detrimental treatment, including a threat about the present or future employment status of the employee.


Bullying is defined as repeated unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that can lead to physical or psychological harm. 

Filing a Claim in New Zealand

A claim for employment discrimination or harassment may be filed with the the Human Rights Commission or the Employment Relations Authority. Employees may report bullying to Worksafe New Zealand

Potential Remedies

In New Zealand, an employee who has experienced workplace discrimination or harassment may be entitled to monetary and other remedies. An employer may be required to take certain actions to correct or redress discriminatory harassment or violations of workplace safety standards. Potential remedies are listed below.

  • Hiring
  • Transfers
  • Reassignments
  • Promotions
  • Reinstatement to a position
  • Compensation for lost wages and benefits
  • Damages for injury to dignity or feelings
  • Cease and desist orders

Retaliation Prohibited

Employer retaliation against an employee who files a complaint relating to discrimination or harassment or is involved in the complaint process is unlawful.

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