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Discrimination at work – what can you do? 

Discrimination is treating someone unfairly because they happen to belong to a particular group of people.

In NSW many types of discrimination are against the law. Discrimination laws help give everyone an equal opportunity or a 'fair go'.

The following types of discrimination are illegal:

Carers' responsibilities

You need to care for or support a child or other 'immediate family member'.


You are a woman or because you are a man. Discrimination against a woman because she is pregnant can also be sex discrimination. Sexual harassment is also against the law.


Because of your colour, nationality, descent, ethnic or ethno-religious background.


People think you are too young or too old for the job.

Marital status

You are single, married or living in a de facto relationship.

Homosexual or lesbian

You are gay or lesbian or someone thinks you are gay or lesbian.


You have a disability, had one in the past or may have one in the future, or someone thinks you have a disability. This includes physical, intellectual and psychiatric disabilities, learning and emotional disorders.


You are transgender (you live or seek to live as a member of the opposite gender (sex) to your birth gender) or others think you are transgender.

By relation or association

The sex, race, age, marital status, homosexuality/lesbianism, transgender (trans-sexuality) or disability of one of your relatives, friends or work colleagues.

Need help?

If you are being discriminated against - contact the Anti-Discrimination Board (ADB) for advice and help on 9268 5544 or 1800 670 812 (for rural and regional NSW callers) or for young women visit Sex Discrimination Act (Australian Human Rights Commission).