Physical features discrimination

Discrimination is treating, or proposing to treat, someone unfavourably because of a personal characteristic protected by the law. This includes bullying someone because of a protected characteristic.

In Victoria it is against the law for someone to discriminate against you because of your physical features. Your physical features are your height, weight, size, shape or another bodily characteristic. These also include facial features, hair and birthmarks.

Example of physical features discrimination

A fast food company will only recruit people with a certain 'look', that is, a specific height, weight and build.

Where can discrimination occur?

Discrimination is against the law when it occurs in an area of public life such as clubs, schools and shops, or in the workplace.

Find out more about general places of discrimination or learn more specifically about physical features discrimination in employment.

Are there any exceptions?

The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 includes some exceptions, which mean that discrimination will not be against the law in particular circumstances.

Positive steps can also be taken to help disadvantaged groups using special measures, which is not discrimination under the law.

If an exception or special measure does not apply, in some circumstances an exemption from the Act may be sought from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Make a complaint to the Commission

If you think you have been discriminated againstsexually harassedvictimisedvilified, contact us and talk about your concerns. Our dispute resolution service is free and confidential. We can send you information about the complaint process and if we can’t help you we will try to refer you to someone who can.

To make a complaint:

Find out more about making a complaint.

HRW2017 Logo Stacked
Lodge a complaint with us
Chat live with us now
Subscribe to our eBulletin