Articles


Manager sacked for safety tip-off wins $470K adverse action claim

Discrimination in the workplace

Even though regulators say they won’t reveal the source of an anonymous complaint, does that really provide any protection? When a general manager at a glass manufacturing company became concerned about the new owners’ dangerous work practices, including one event […]

By Portner Press on June 28th, 2019

Employer must pay $75,000 in settlement to racially abused worker

Discrimination in the workplace

Imagine your workers are taunting an African worker for being black. They make monkey noises at him, leave bananas on his desk, tell him he isn’t Australian, suggest he is part of an ‘African gang’ and a terrorist and leave […]

By Portner Press on June 7th, 2019

Your questions answered: Is asking workers about infectious or communicable diseases compliant with anti-discrimination laws?

Discrimination in the workplace

Q I am writing a policy and procedure for the control of infectious and communicable diseases in a community service organisation. Service users range from children to the aged and frail. The general approach to control is to assume the […]

By Portner Press on May 31st, 2019

Your questions answered: How can we avoid Hepatitis C discrimination?

Discrimination in the workplace

Q Our workplace based in the Northern Territory has a designated first aid officer who has Hepatitis C. The employee works at a location where first aid may at times need to be administered to members of the public. Due […]

By Portner Press on May 30th, 2019

Your questions answered: Are pre-employment medical assessments discriminatory?

Discrimination in the workplace

Q My sales and distribution business operates within the metals industry. We are considering pre-employment medicals for new warehouse/delivery driver employees. Would you please advise what legal requirements, if any, we need to consider? Is it discrimination to request a […]

By Portner Press on May 21st, 2019

New whistleblower laws in force NOW

Discrimination in the workplace

The changes to whistleblower laws in Australia may also have an impact on work health and safety obligations to protect the whistleblowers from bullying or victimisation if their identity becomes known. The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Act 2019 […]

By Michael Selinger on May 17th, 2019

Labour hire company and contractor face court over age discrimination

Discrimination in the workplace

The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) has caught labour hire company Corestaff WA and its client Gumala Enterprises committing an ultimate recruitment no-no. ABCC has launched Federal Court proceedings against the companies, alleging that they discriminated against a worker […]

By Portner Press on May 7th, 2019

Your questions answered: Is hiring someone with a pre-existing injury risky?

Discrimination in the workplace

Q Can you please assist by outlining some recommendations when requesting a ‘fitness to work’ for an applicant who has passed the interview selection within our recruitment process? Are we putting our organisation at risk of a possible future workers’ compensation claim by […]

By Portner Press on May 7th, 2019

Your questions answered: Can we ask job applicants to disclose WorkCover claims?

Discrimination in the workplace

In an important decision in March, the NSW District Court found a property manager of a building guilty of breaching its primary duty of care to ensure safety by failing to arrange or verify that a major 10-year inspection of […]

By Portner Press on May 3rd, 2019

Your questions answered: Must we provide ergonomic back support in our worker’s company car?

Discrimination in the workplace

Q If a sales representative who spends most of his day in a company car has a neck injury that makes sitting in the car for long periods uncomfortable, is the employer responsible for providing an ergonomic back support to make the […]

By Portner Press on May 2nd, 2019